The warmer weather has arrived (YAY says this Queenslander!!). I love, love, love the endless summer of sunshine, long warm days, cool swims and afternoon storms.
Summer is about fresh fruit, icy cold water and moving your body. There’s a buzz in the air, the pavements and pathways are full of walkers, joggers and kids on bikes and scooters – it’s THE BEST time of the year!
Keeping your exercise routine or starting a new plan is made a little easier with the longer daylight hours. With the kids home on holidays, we find ourselves seeking great ways to spend quality time together. So, I have come up with my Top 5 ideas for nourishing your body, mind and spirit this summer.
- Picnics in the park. While you pack a healthy picnic basket, have the kids pack one for sport and games. Finding a wide-open space isn’t too hard in our great south-east so think about packing frisbees, skipping ropes, balls, bocce, cricket set, yoga mats, and some empty containers. Use the containers for a nature scavenger hunt to find the most interesting specimens of leaves, rocks, flowers etc. Plan your picnic for early morning or late afternoon and stay in the shade.
- Backyard obstacle course. This is easy to set up and you can make lots and lots of variations to keep the kids busy and active. Perhaps have a prize for the fastest lap or most creative course. Hoses make great balancing beams, clothes baskets can be used as hurdles, sheets on the clothes line for a maze, wheelie bins to weave around and add some kind of obstacle for the kids to climb under, too. Let them use what is around the house and get their creative juices flowing.
- Slip and slide! All you need is some soft grass, a tarp, water and suds. You know what to do…
- No Device Days. Switching off for a day here and there will do you (and the rest of the family) wonders. Disconnect from the 24/7 lifestyle of never-ending lights, noise and distraction. Tidy up the yard, read together, plant some tomatoes, walk the neighbourhood, eat together and enjoy each other’s company and conversation. Allowing yourself to have a break from the screens and the monotony and taking time to breathe and just ‘be’ is great for the entire family – but who will it be harder for? You or the kids?
- Orienteer the ‘hood. With Siri at the ready to give instructions on how to get where we need to be, perhaps using maps and coordinates is a disappearing skill? Get the kids to help draw a map of your neighbourhood – how many houses are on your street? What are the local landmarks? Walk with them around the neighbourhood and create your own maps – not only does this get you all moving but it’s a lifelong skill to instil in your children. They will become more aware of their environment and connect with their surroundings. Who knows, they may even make new friends along the way.
However, you choose to spend your summer holidays, make time for yourself, keep moving and at least try and hit those 10,000 steps a day. Remember to eat well and continue to be a great, healthy role model for the most important people in your life. They are watching you.