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Plant City Observer Thursday, Jun. 7, 2018 5 months ago

Focus on Fitness: Fun ways to exercise as a family this summer

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Kids love adventure and even more so when their parents enjoy it with them.
by: Columnist Columnist

S

ummer is here and, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how to keep the kids from spending endless hours playing video games, keep them active, and still have some quality time together as a family.

Exercise doesn’t always have to be in the gym. Here are some fun ideas that get the whole family moving.

Set up an obstacle course in your backyard or park. Take turns going through it and make it competitive by timing each person to see who can get through it the quickest.

When was the last time you jumped rope or played a game of hopscotch? With some simple sidewalk chalk you can get your heart rate up and have fun.

Go for a family bike ride. Whether it is a day trip on the weekend or a quick ride through the neighborhood after work, this is a great way to get outdoors and move together.

The best thing about having kids is getting to be a kid with them. Go to a playground. Take a turn on the monkey bars or swing with them. Bring a ball and play a family game of kickball. Play tag or hide and seek.

Go for a hike. Get the kids involved in choosing a location to explore. Make it fun by writing ideas down and putting them in a bucket. Choose a different one each time. Then pack some healthy snacks and water and head out.

Train for a run together. There are lots of 5Ks and shorter one-mile runs for younger children. Include the kids in choosing one. My kids like races like “Race for the Cupcake” in St. Pete, where they run on the beach and know they will be rewarded with a sweet treat at the end. Sign up and begin your training plan together. It’s a great way to teach the kids to set goals, too.

If a beach vacation is in the plans this summer, make it active. Play Frisbee, fly a kite or take walks along the beach searching for seashells.

Are you members of the Plant City Family YMCA? The pool is open and swimming is great exercise. The YMCA also offers a Family Boot Camp every Monday at 5 p.m. Parents and children ages 8 and up participate together. Class is outdoors and designed to be fun, yet challenging. Family Bodyflow on Tuesdays gets everyone moving a little slower with some Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates.

Have your own ideas to share or topics you’d like more information on? Email me at o[email protected].

Angela Fulgieri is the Wellness Experience Director at the Plant City YMCA. Contact her at [email protected].

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