At long last, summer vacation has arrived! Well, for your kids maybe, but still — it’s exciting nonetheless! Summer is a great time to hit the “reset” button, spend more time with your family and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather. And with school out for the next few months, there’s no better time to remind your loved ones that good health is a priority.
How to Ensure a Healthy Summer Vacation
Don’t let the next few months fall by the wayside and set your family up for a less-than-healthy start to the fall season. Check-out these simple tips to keep everyone happy, healthy and productive, and reaping the benefits of everything summer has to offer.
Enact Some Bedtime Boundaries
We all know summer is a time to stay up late and sleep in, but the fun can sometimes get out of hand. Staying up till 3-4 am and waking up in the afternoon can seriously impede on health. While still maintaining some degree of flexibility, try to enforce bedtime boundaries that ensure you and your family are still getting quality sleep and keeping-up with healthy habits.
Set a Limit on Screen Time
Summer will pass without giving your family good memories if everyone’s always on their phones, laptops, tablets and video games. Within reason, set boundaries on screen time that encourage your family to engage more with their surroundings.
Take the Fun Outside
The summer sun is everything! Encourage your family to get active outside with family bike rides, hikes and sports games. Swim in your backyard or community pool and play Hide-and-Seek or Manhunt with your neighborhood friends. Try roller blading, scooter rides or even stimulating nature walks. This is a great alternative to staying cooped-up in your home or gym.
Get Dirty and Connect with Nature
Mother Earth is a lot more stimulating than your couch. Get your family outside to play in the dirt! Plant a small garden, create a flower box or find a potting table for planting herbs and small veggies. You can also make outdoor yard work and “chores” a team affair.
Plan a Destination Vacation
If you have some funds to set aside, consider planning a destination vacation everyone can look forward to. Make it local by traveling to a fun part of your state or consider crossing state lines for a few new experiences. Or, if you’ve got extra time and cash, plan an out-of-country trip like a cruise through the Caribbean or a flight to Europe. While on vacation, encourage sight-seeing and exploring of other cultures for a summer that is also educational.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
There’s no better time than summer to add new recipes to your family cook book. Collaborate on new cuisines, foods and recipes you’d like to try, then make group trips to the grocery store and farmer’s market. Work together to prepare dishes and make cooking a family affair.
Talk about Good Health
Most importantly, use summer vacation as a time to teach your family that healthy habits should always be kept up and prioritized. While it’s okay to break the mold every now and then, especially on vacation, life is easier when you feel your best consistently. Instill values of healthy eating, physical activity, quality sleep, time spent together and hard work. When summer is all said and done, no one should feel like they wasted it or didn’t have any engaging fun!