With school out and the weather at its warmest, summer is a great time for moms to get out and enjoy some bonding time with their daughters. Take advantage of the time you spend together to do things that get you both moving. Staying active together doesn’t have to be about running or jumping jacks either—there are lots of fun activities you can do together that feel like anything but a workout. And, before you let those hot lazy days get the better of you and make you want to lounge around instead of getting moving, you may want to consider the findings of a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics. The study found a direct association between mothers and their children’s activity levels, meaning that the more physically active the mother is, the more active her child will be. And when a child is active, it lowers their risk of obesity and disease now and in the future.
By Adrienne Santos, Healthline
Here are a few ideas to help keep you and your daughter active this summer.
Take a nature walk.
Head out to a local trail and enjoy a long stroll through nature. Uneven surfaces help you get a good workout at any pace, so feel free to take in all the beautiful scenery. The serene setting is perfect for some girl talk with your older daughter, and younger daughters will love learning about nature and exploring.
Have a beach day.
What girl doesn’t love a day at the beach? Bring a beach ball and sand toys for younger girls, or rent a stand-up paddle board for daughters older than the age of 9. While it may be tempting to lie in the warm sun, resist the urge and play instead. Get down in the sand with your daughter for some digging and sand castle building, and get out there and splash and swim! Tossing a ball or Frisbee around in the shallow water is a great way to be active and help keep cool on a hot day, and enjoying a paddle board lesson is an adventure that you’ll love as much as they do.
Hit a local amusement park.
Even if you’re not the rollercoaster type, visiting an amusement park offers up a fun way to spend time with your daughter that also happens to require a lot of time walking. Between walking from ride to ride and strolling to see the sights, amusement parks will keep you moving while also ensuring loads of laughs and great memories.
Grow something together.
Though younger girls are often more likely to want to play in the dirt, older school-aged daughters are sure to love the feeling of responsibility they get from helping you with some gardening. Include your daughter in every aspect of growing something, from choosing what to plant to getting in the ground and maintaining it.
Go for a bike ride.
A bike ride is an activity that will be enjoyed by girls of all ages regardless of their skill level. Remember that bikes with three wheels are available for grownups, too, if you’re a mom who never quite mastered the two-wheeler. Go for a ride after dinner or plan a day of exploring local trails or the waterfront with a stop for a picnic planned along the way.
Take an all-girls road trip.
While sitting in the car for a long drive may not be a very active way to spend time together, exploring a new town is. Pick a place to visit together and be sure to look for towns that have a lot of sights to see and fun activities to enjoy that are age-appropriate. Once there, park the car and enjoy the rest of your time away on foot, being sure to stop at parks and splash pads to keep younger children from getting bored.
Summer gives you plenty to time to try these suggestions and then some. Be sure to mix it up with different activities to keep things interesting. And for those of you with daughters who are at the age when it’s all about their friends, let them bring a friend or two along. Not only will you be doing your part to help keep your daughter (and her friends) active and lower their risk of obesity and chronic disease, but you’ll also cinch the title of “coolest mom ever,” too!
You can learn more about children’s health and fitness, as well as the effects of childhood obesity, by clicking here.
Adrienne is a freelance writer and author, who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board. You can connect with Adrienne on Facebook.