We are a few weeks into summer vacation here in Tennessee. Many of us are starting to worry about the amount of time our kids are spending inside, on the couch, in front of the TV, or on other electronic devices.
Can you relate?
My goal is to have my children's summer filled with physical activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children need 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, without the structure and resources that the school year offers, many children are at risk for unhealthy habits and even weight gain during the summer months.
There are many options to keep your kids happy, healthy, and moving through the summer in and around Memphis and Collierville.
Here are some ways to make movement fun:
1. Frequent Park Visits
Parks and playgrounds should be frequent stops. Johnson Road Park has an 18 hole Disc Golf course that will quickly add up to 60 minutes of physical activities.
2. Memphis Botanic Gardens
The Big Backyard and a walk through the gardens is a beautiful way to stay active. Plan your trip around Adventure Friday's (10am-12pm) for even more fun with your little ones!
3. Dance Parties
Make time for a nightly dance party at home. For kids 8 and over take advantage of Dance Fit. This is a free event on Monday evenings at Baptist Memorial Women's Hospital that introduces kids to Zumba, Line Dancing, Hip Hop, and more.
4. Attend Free Concert Events
Take the entire family to the Collierville Square for the summer concert series Thursday evenings at 7pm. Your kids won't be able to help but run around the gazebo and dance to the music. Do you live closer to Germantown? Bobby Lanier Farm Park has music and activities for kids on Thursday evenings as well (4pm-7:30pm)
5. Take a Family Hike
Shelby Farms offers many opportunities to walk and hike. Kids of all ages will enjoy a hike around the forest and lakes at Lichterman Nature Center. Be sure to buy some food in the visitors center to feed the fish and turtles!
6. Enjoy the Spray Park or Sprinklers
Several area spray parks are perfect for preschool and school age children. Alternatively, have the neighborhood kids over to run through the sprinkler or have a water balloon battle. This is the perfect option for the hot and humid Memphis days!
7. Do Home Improvement Projects
You and your kids can paint a bedroom wall, re-purpose some old furniture, or organize the garage. A summer garden project takes lots of energy and builds muscle as your kids rake, weed, and even haul rocks!
8. Do Chores Together
Dust, sweep, and wipe off tables. Even the smallest of children can participate in some form of family chores. Our favorite is washing cars, bikes, and outdoor toys. Not only will you stay active, your kids will feel grown up and responsible members of the family.
9. Visit Local Museums
On a rainy day, visit The Pink Palace or a local art museum. A few hours walking through a museum keep minds and bodies active. Did you sign up for the free Pink Palace Summer Membership this year? If not, don't miss it next summer as if offer free admission to several area museums while kids are out of school.
10. Volunteer together
Help your kids sign up to volunteer at the local theater, community center, or retirement home. Go together to a soup kitchen or volunteer through church events. Smaller organizations may be more open to allowing kids to help. A favorite of ours, Merge Memphis, has many opportunities throughout the city to serve food and stock pantries.
Why does movement matter?
It's important for all young people to keep active and maintain healthy habits while school is out. Regular structured exercise or free play provides benefits including strong muscles and bones, better sleep, improved mood, and better behavior. In addition, healthy active kids are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful in all areas of their life.
Active kids have bodies that can do for them all the things they want and need them to do. This is of course true for adults as well. If you are having trouble keeping up with your kids this summer, let us help you get back on track.
Whether it's physical therapy, personal training, movement screens, nutrition, or wellness coaching we can help you reach your goals and enjoy this summer with your kids in an active and healthy way! Click HERE to request a call from one of our healthcare professionals today!