2 Easy, Fun and Free Ways to Keep Kids Active This Summer

Some of our favourite active activities during the summer months include walking and biking.  Get these habits instilled in kids at a young age and they will be ingrained for life.  They are a lot of fun, get you out in the fresh air and nature, and they are easily adaptable to almost any age and fitness level.

Walking and biking are both great ways to get the entire family out there, doing something together.  I encourage you to give it a try.  Start slow and small and see how things are going.  As your fitness levels improve and everyone gets more comfortable hiking and biking, you can start to tackle longer or more difficult trips.

Safety First

Make sure you are all safe as you go out exploring, firstly by making sure your equipment is in good shape.  Dress appropriately and wear shoes with good grip and ankle support for your hikes.  When biking, helmets are a must, for all of you.  Make sure you can easily be seen if you’re cycling on roads.  A safety vest and reflectors on your bike are always a good idea.

Related post: How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Proper Bike

Give all bicycles a good once-over before you hit the road, path or trail.  And make sure you know where you’re going.  Know your route well and take a map with you if needed.  It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going.  This is particularly important when you’re hitting a trail in a National Park, nature reserve, or in the countryside.

Before you head out with the kids, make sure they are aware of the all-important safety rules.  Make it clear that they should stop and wait for you before the path crosses a road for example.  On a hiking path, encourage them to stay fairly close to you and not wander off the path.  If part of your walk goes along a road or lane, always walk facing the oncoming traffic and get in to the side or up on the verge as much as possible.

Sunburn and dehydration can become serious issues during the hot summer months, so bring plenty of water and apply sunscreen before you head out.  High-energy snacks are also a necessity.

Be Prepared

When you’re hiking and biking that means knowing your route well.  But it also means checking on the weather before you head out.  You don’t want to be caught in a thunderstorm, or stuck up a hill or mountain as heavy fog rolls in.

It also means having plenty of water on hand, rain gear if the weather might turn on you, a way to communicate should you get in trouble (make sure your mobile will work), basic tools and supplies to make repairs as needed, and a basic first aid kit should you get a blister or scrape a knee.  If you’re headed out for more than an hour or two, pack snacks to keep up your energy.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the walk or ride.  Take pictures, explore nature and come back to do it again and again.

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