Staying healthy should be a family affair. It’s never too early to start children on healthy habits, and a good habit of physical activity will aid development and decrease a child’s likelihood of having a sedentary lifestyle as they grow older. As Andrew Purdy, exercise physiologist at Kettering Weight Loss Solutions, says, “Getting started with regular exercise at a young age can help children develop healthy habits and routines they can continue into their adult years.”
Add these outdoor activities to your workout routine to burn some calories while having fun with the whole family.
- Spin your wheels
With the days getting longer, there’s no better time to take your family out for a bike ride. Cycling is great for the muscles, especially the lower half of the body. And don’t forget to practice bike safety by wearing a helmet!
- Take a hike
Southwest Ohio is full of great hiking trails waiting for you and your family. Visit your community parks or find the nearest state park to hit the trails and work on your cardio-respiratory fitness. For an added challenge, find trails that cross hills and inclines.
- Shoot some hoops
All you need is a ball and hoop for a friendly game of basketball. A pick-up game after work is a great way to get the entire family involved in a fun cardio workout. Even better, up the stakes and play a game to see who’s on chore duty for the week.
- Make a splash
As the weather warms up, beat boredom at a community pool or lake. Doing a few laps is an easy way to gain muscle tone while you have cool off.
How effective is it?
According to Purdy, “The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity exercise.” The number of calories you burn depends on your activity level and your weight. On average, one hour of activity burns about this many calories:
|Activity (1-hour duration)||160 pounds||200 pounds|
|Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisure||292||364|
|Swimming laps, light or moderate||423||528|
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Don’t wait to drink until you’re thirsty. By the time you’re actually thirsty, your body is well on the way to becoming dehydrated, which makes it hard to sweat and cool down.
How much should you drink? Generally, it’s a good idea to drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise, according to the American Council on Exercise. Water is fine. But if you exercise continuously for more than an hour or two, a sports drink can replace lost electrolytes.
Check with your doctor about how much fluid to drink if you take water pills or you’ve been advised to limit fluids.