Here’s How to Have Some Healthy Summer Fun

 In Heart Healthy Food, Holiday Time and Health

Summer means more free time for kids and families, but it’s easy to fall into the too-much screen time routine if you aren’t careful. Kids spend enough time sitting around during the school year, so why not try to find some new and fun ways to keep busy while the days are long and the temperatures are high?

While getting your kids up and off the couch is great for them, it’s also great for you – so here are some of our favorite healthy – and heart-healthy – ways to beat boredom, boost health and fitness levels and otherwise spend your summer days.

Start a garden

Anyone who grows their own food can attest that nothing tastes as good as greens plucked straight from the garden. By letting your kids participate in the growing process, whether by watering, planting or picking, you teach them about sustainability and may make them more inclined to eat veggies or fruits they otherwise wouldn’t. There’s also a sense of pride that comes with planting seeds and watching them turn into something useful, so go ahead and get started. Your kids just may dig it!

Geocache

Geocaching involves using an app or GPS device to find hidden treasures in your neighborhood or wherever else you may find yourselves. Once your kids find the stash after following clues, they can select one item from inside to keep while leaving something of their own for the next finder. It’s a great, FREE way to get some exercise and explore new outdoor areas, and the kids love it because they get to keep the little treasures they uncover along the way.

Explore a national park

July is National Park and Recreation Month, making it a great time to get out and explore some of the nation’s most valued sites and scenery. National parks receive their designations for reasons, and you can count on these protected areas delivering some of the best views – and times – you’ll have all summer. Start with a short hike through a scenic area and work your way up to longer routes as the season progresses!

 

Host a BBQ

Not every BBQ has to have burgers and dogs – consider forgoing these high-calorie standbys in favor of healthier options like chicken breast, fresh fish or lean ground poultry. Add peppers, purple onions and other colorful options to skewers to make them more appealing, and try grilling peaches, pineapples or other fresh fruits instead of finishing things off with s’mores.

Eat right on the road

It’s entirely too easy to turn into the next drive-thru when you’re on a summer road trip – but you don’t have to let months of healthy eating and hard work go by the wayside simply because you decide to hot the road. Pack your own food and water for lunch or breakfast, but give yourself some grace and allow yourselves to indulge every now and again when you’re on vacation, too.

Before you know it, the sun will start setting sooner and you’ll start getting bombarded with back-to-school ads. Use these tips before summer’s end to make healthy decisions – and the most – out of this all-too-short season.

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