It’s Finally Spring Week
Day 4: Getting Your Family Active Outside
Did you enjoy your day off? I did (except for the blood draw)!
I used it to get a little rest and to get better organized. There’s always more to do!
During the Spring, it’s a great time not only to restart your healthy lifestyle, but to take advantage of the outdoors. You should include your family in these opportunities as well. Depending on where you live, the weather is finally starting to warm up, which means you can do some outdoor family activities that will keep everyone active. Here are a few to try during the Spring.
Grow a Garden
One activity that you can do outdoors with your family is planting a garden. You can start a small garden in your front or back yard with flowers, some herbs, or maybe even some simple fruits and vegetables. YOu could even use pots or other containers. And you don’t have to do all the work yourself; your children or husband can help with the planting, weeding, and harvesting.
There are several issues to consider before planting for a garden:
- Prepping the space: This includes choosing an area in your yard with good soil and proper sunlight. Clear out the space, whether that means pulling up last year’s crops or removing any lawn/grass you might have there. You will need to level out the ground and might need to add in fertilizer if you don’t have good soil.
- Deciding what to grow: For a spring garden, you have the choice between flowers, herbs, or a vegetable garden. If you are new to gardening, starting with flowers can be ideal. There are many different types of flowers that will be good in the springtime, many of which you are probably already familiar with. Pansies, lilacs, and tulips are really popular in the spring, but don’t forget about options like snapdragons or redbuds. Some vegetables that are good in the spring include lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, and peas.
- Why gardening? It provides good exercise, so if you aren’t into going to the gym or walking around the block, you can get good cardio and some strength straining with gardening right in your own backyard. This is also going to help you get more vitamin D, which is essential for natural energy. Additional benefits include improving your mood and having fresh flowers or herbs, depending on what form of gardening you decide to go with.
Gardening has many benefits aside from just exercise. It also encourages you to spend more time in outside and with your family and provides fresh herbs or produce if you decided to go that route.
Clean Your Outdoor Space
Are you going to be spring cleaning? If so, add some outdoor projects to your list to get these areas cleaned out, and get in some exercise with your family at the same time. You can remove the trash on the side of your house, organize and adjust furniture and decorative items on your patio, or give your porch a good cleaning.
Here are some tips to spring clean outside your house.
- Clean your yard: Check your yard to see if there are any spots of dead grass that you might need to re-sod. Pick up any dead branches that might have fallen during the winter. Plan a schedule for mowing and watering as needed; the bushes might also need pruning as well. Each of these activities can be managed by different members of the family throughout the spring and provides a good work out. You may also have to fertilize the yard – which is probably best not left to the kids.
- Manage the clutter in the yard: If you have lawn furniture, check it to make sure it is in good shape and give it a good cleaning. If anything needs to be replaced, you can deal with that as well. If there are toys or lawn tools in the yard, put them in their places. This is a good activity for the children – they probably will find toys that they haven’t seen in a while and get their exercise while playing with them!
- Check your lawn for fire ant colonies: This may not be a concern in cooler climates but here in Texas, the fire ants are already rearing their bite-y heads. If you find them, now is the time to spread out any poison (or organic pesticide) to get rid of them. You may also want to have a professional exterminator come and spray to get rid any other unwanted pests.
Think of activities everyone can do together that get you and your kids outdoors more often, get in exercise, and enjoy family time while you do it. This is really good for you and your family.
Go Hiking with Your Family
If you live in a colder climate, you probably spent most of winter cooped up inside your home. This hibernation can really get to you after a while, not to mention lowering your vitamin D levels. One great thing to do in the warmer weather is to get outdoors, such as going on a hike.
To make this a truly family-friendly activity, you have to take some steps:
- Trail selection: Select a trail with an appropriate difficulty level. Most parks and nature areas with hiking trails will post what their trails are and how difficult they are. This might include a beginner, moderate, or advanced level, or they may label them easy, moderate, and strenuous. Also check the board at the beginning of the trail to see if there’s anything you should know, like what you might see during that hike.
- Length of hike: Aside from the difficulty of the trail, you also want to look at how long the trail is and approximately how long it takes to complete. This is another thing usually posted in the same area as the name and difficulty of different hiking trails.
- Presence of Obstacles: Are there obstacles that your family may not be able to pass? For example, there might be tree stumps or large rocks you need to climb over, a river with rocks you have to walk over to get to the other side, or it may be on the side of a mountain with something you need to hold onto for safety. Therefore, it’s important to look up what a trail entails before you start walking on it.
If you are interested in hiking with your family, try to plan at least one weekly hike where you and your family explore local parks or trails, get in some good exercise, and maybe catch sight of flowers or birds.
Swimming or Other Water Sports
Hitting the pool is one of the most popular warm-weather activities there is; however, the pool is also a great place to get a good workout. Again, it depends on where you live; you may not be able to get into the pool as soon as spring hits.
Swimming has lots of benefits. Here are a few of them:
- Low impact: Water activities are very low impact, so there is very little risk of injury. If you have joint problems or are pregnant, they could be one of the few ways that you can safely or comfortably get your heart rate up to a beneficial level.
- Good cardio: Swimming also provides a very good cardiovascular workout. It is very much an aerobic exercise, because it requires you to control your breathing and does a wonderful job of getting your heart rate up.
- Unstructured is good: Even less structured play can be beneficial. Every time you get into the pool doesn’t have to be a structured plan. Just playing in the pool with your family gives you a mild workout and creates fun memories that you will cherish.
Swimming is a great way to get a workout in the summer. It keeps you cool and helps prevent injury while giving your muscles and heart the workout they need. Even if you are already following a workout regimen, swimming can add variety and allow you to work more muscles. And best of all, it’s lots of fun, making it easy to stay motivated!
Some people get plenty of entertainment when they simply play the game of golf. But it can be made so much more fun when you put twists on your regular games. You can modify the way you play and get a lot more enjoyment from the game—especially when playing with your family.
- Night golf: Golf courses aren’t lighted, but you can get glow in the dark balls and have grease pots on the greens, so you can see where you’re going – well, sort of. It’s fun to drive your ball and then have to navigate in the dark to see where it went. Let’s hope you didn’t slice into the woods!
- Wolf: A friendly game of Wolf is hilarious entertainment. With this game, you have the option of picking players to be on your team based on how they hit the ball. Teams can change often. You can also add your own twists to the game– the possibilities are endless – and great fun!
- Putt-putt or mini-golf: You don’t have to play golf on a full-sized course to get some good family exercise in. Playing putt-putt golf at day or night can be really enjoyable for the family as well.
Finding entertainment on the golf course for the entire family is actually quite easy when you think outside of the proverbial box. Just remember that the whole point of a friendly game is to have fun. So, go out and do it!
There are many ways to get your family outside to get some exercise — and many of them my not feel like real exercise so there may be less resistance. Remember, you should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness routine.
One more day in It’s Finally Spring Week. I hope you are enjoying it! I know I am!
Loving Life–the Reboot!