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Walking for better health

Staying fit and active with your family members is a win-win. Everyone enjoys the health benefits of exercising, and you’ll get to spend quality time with one another to boot!

The big question, then, is what can you do to be a more active family?

The good news is, having fun and staying active is easy. Remember, you don’t have to set aside an entire day to accomplish your goal of having fun and staying fit–sneak in a few minutes of activity here and there. Over time, it’ll all add up to plenty of memories and health benefits.

Use these 13 ideas to get your wheels turning, and enjoy spending time with your children or grandchildren while staying healthy!

1. Geocaching

What is geocaching? Only the world’s biggest treasure hunt–and a great option for family fitness while having fun! You might be surprised to find how many geocaches (or small treasure troves) are within walking distance of your home. Just enter the geocache’s GPS location into the geocaching app, and the hunt is on! The contents in each geocache are a surprise, and children and adults alike will enjoy finding new treasures and leaving behind surprises for the next geocacher. Read more about it here!

2. Go on a Nature walk

If the weather is nice, taking a walk in your neighborhood, a local park, or a nearby nature center can be just the ticket for a memorable healthy family activity. Nature is everywhere, and taking time to notice the flowers, trees, birds, insects, and wildlife (even in urban areas) is a great way to spend a few minutes or a whole afternoon.

Man and kid on nature walk

3. Toss a ball

Tossing a ball is the oldest activity in the book for a reason! It’s good fun, it’s a good amount of gentle physical activity, and even the youngest and oldest members of the family can participate! Toss a softball back and forth, enjoy a friendly game of HORSE at the basketball court in the park, or perfect the spiral on your football throw.

4. Play Animal Tag

This is a great activity for younger children in particular. The person who is “it” chooses what animal they’d like to be. Then they tuck a “tail” into their pocket and run. The chasers have to pull the tail out of the pocket to win–then they become the next animal!

5. Have a dance party

Having a dance party is a great way to get in some family exercise! Each person can dance as hard or as gently as they choose, and everyone can take turns picking songs and making up new moves. Bring your phone to the park and have a dance party outdoors, or stay inside and rock out in the living room if the weather isn’t good!

6. Keep a garden, or volunteer at one

Keeping a garden at home, or taking time to volunteer at a community garden with your family can be a rewarding experience that helps everyone stay in shape at the same time! Weeding, watering, planting, and harvesting the fruits of your labors gives you time to talk, and allows you to get a healthy dose of exercise at the same time.

7. Walk a dog

Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to stay active as a family. Don’t have a dog? Visit your local shelter and brighten everyone’s day by helping the shelter animals get some exercise and socialization.

8. Pick your own fruit or berries

“Pick your owns” have become increasingly popular–and they’re a great way to stock up on some healthy food while making a few memories and getting in some exercise with the whole family. And as a bonus at most places, you’re welcome to eat as much as you’d like while you pick!

9. Have a water gun fight or nerf gun fight

Take a few nerf guns or water guns to the park (or the backyard) and have a good old-fashioned showdown! Use bushes and trees as cover, give everyone a “weapon,” and enjoy spending some time getting active!

10. Do yoga together.

Yoga isn’t just for the very bendy and extra enlightened. Spending a little time doing a simple routing with everyone in the family can improve circulation, help everyone relax, and stretch out your muscles. Check out these great yoga poses for kids!

11. Explore a new neighborhood together

It’s amazing how many incredible new sights, sounds and places there are just a neighborhood away! Walk or drive a short distance, and explore a new neighborhood on foot. You might find a new park or a new friend, and you’ll definitely get in some great activity and memories!

Woman and child exploring new neighborhood

12. Play frisbee golf

Either visit an actual frisbee golf course, or make one of your own at a park or in the backyard, using anything from trash cans to laundry baskets as the “holes.” Take turns trying to land the frisbees in the “holes,” and get an easy workout with your family in the process.

13. Go bug hunting.

Who doesn’t love taking a closer look at creepy crawlies? Go on a bug hunt with your children or grandchildren to see what you find! Turn over rocks, explore a fallen tree near the park, or dig in the dirt together, then take a closer look!

No matter how you approach family fitness, the most important part is just getting started! So ready, set–play!

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