bike-400x266The pull of electronic games and social media is overwhelming, and at times, it seems impossible to get your family (and yourself) to look up from your phone to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Add to that the importance of staying active, and it can seem like quite the mountain to climb. Luckily, summer offers several opportunities to have fun with your family, while also getting everyone moving and active. As an added bonus, you’ll get quality bonding time and create memories with your brothers, sisters, kids and/ or spouse—something you’ll appreciate now and in the years to come.

Here are more fun activities, so pry away the phones and game controllers, grab your family, and get out of your house to try these summer activities for family fun…

Swimming – Whether it’s a pool, pond, or beach, swimming is an ideal way to fit in fun exercise. Swimming has many benefits, from improving flexibility and increasing muscle tone to strengthening the heart and relieving stress. As a family, depending on where you’re swimming, you can play a lot of games in the water. In the pool, you can dive for items or race with laps. At a beach or somewhere that you can stand, you can play catch with a water ball, Frisbee, or football. If a beach has waves, jumping in them, trying to balance on a raft, or simply staying upright is fun and active for everyone. Of course, children should be supervised and have life jackets when appropriate.

– Biking is a great cardiovascular exercise that strengthens several muscles, including your core, and can improve balance. While you can take the family out to have fun and be active with a bike ride in your neighborhood, biking is another activity that can be done almost anywhere. Pack a picnic and plenty of water, and head out to your local trails or go to a bike-friendly beach. And make sure everyone has a properly-fitted helmet and wears it—they can help prevent serious injuries if someone falls off their bike.

Canoeing – Hitting the open water or paddling down a river with your family in a canoe is good exercise. You don’t have to be a pro to canoe—canoeing can be done by anyone, regardless of their skill level. You just have to make sure that where you go is safe, based on your experience. A calm river or pond is good for beginners, and offers the opportunity to explore your surroundings from the canoe. For families with more experience, a slightly choppy lake or river will add some adventure to your activity and make your muscles work that much harder.

Neighborhood Sport Tournament – Organizing a neighborhood tournament is fun, even in the planning stages. Kids are bound to get pumped up and enjoy organizing it, from choosing the sport to getting neighbors on board. And the building excitement for tournament day will be contagious, keeping everyone happy and anxiously looking forward to the event. Baseball or soccer tournaments are common options, since many city parks offer a diamond or field for community use. This is a fun way for the family to be active, while having the added bonus of spending time with other families in the area. A street BBQ afterward is the perfect way to end the day.

Shingletown Medical Center Board Members and Staff wish you a “Happy” and “Fun” Summer!