Go Outside (More) as a Family This Year

For some people being outdoors is an everyday reality and for others it is an occasional occurrence. Research does show that getting out in the fresh air benefits everyone, kids and adults. I simply like how I feel when I am out there and I love to share it with my children.

outside family

Are you an outdoor family? Do you spend time in the wild skiing, hiking, biking or just playing together as a group? Do you have conversations or eat picnic dinners and reconnect outside? Ask yourself if you can do it more frequently. No need for perfection, but more is definitely better than less.

Reap the Rewards

Consistent and ongoing outdoor time contributes to a lifetime of health benefits. As we know, families that play together stay together and why not do that outdoors. Spending time outdoors can be healthy for the entire family: mind, body, and soul.

biking

Chose to spend time outdoors together as a family more in 2015.


How will you accomplish this goal?

Eliminate barriers

Many barriers keep us from doing things we need to or should do or want to do. Barriers can include electronic media, over scheduling, and more. Some barriers are easier to overcome than others are. That is where you should look first and substitute time outdoors.

I rarely make resolutions, mostly because I tend to over think and make a too long list of goals that I initially intend to keep, but ultimately do not. What I have learned is to make a single resolution, just one. Keep it simple and set only one goal to focus your attention giving you a greater chance at success.

family hiking

Create a goal

Decide that you will go outside together every day for x amount of time or keep it simple and just decide to go outside every single day, with your family, period. If you feel like you will not be able to commit to a specific time, such as one hour daily, then just make it a goal to get out any amount of time even if it is only for 30 minutes.

Make this commitment to you and your family


Tips to help you reach this goal

  • Come up with ideas together - Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the outdoors. If you give a voice to each family member, they will then have a stake in your yearly commitment.

  • Brainstorm a list, together as a family, and place the list in a visible place as a daily reminder. Refer to the list when looking for ideas needed on a whim and it will be more difficult to use an excuse of not knowing what to do.

  • Make it a habit - Setting a routine and doing it the same time every day may help you complete your task. Like showering or brushing your teeth, going outdoors will fit into a regular daily time slot.


hiking with kids

a few ideas to get you started

  • Try a multi-generational hike. Grab the grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and the cousins, go out together, and create memories no one will forget.

  • Volunteer at a trail restoration or beach cleanup

  • Take an after meal walk. Traditionally, many people go outdoors and take a walk after dinner each night. Continue the dinner conversation under the stars in the cool crisp air or take a walk to the local park and have the kids let some steam out before settling down for the night. With busy schedules often, you cannot eat a meal together making an evening outing that more important for family time. Do not talk yourself out of this either. Just 15 minutes can make all the difference.

  • Pick an easily accessible outdoor sport you can do together

  • Change it up and take an early morning after breakfast walk instead before starting your day.

  • Go on a family bike ride

  • Take a family walk to and from school each day

  • Make it fun for the kids. Play games, bring snacks, and bring friends. Happy kids will want to keep going and you know happy kids equals happy parents.

  • Come up with a family challenge and work towards that goal all year long. Some examples are hiking 100 miles together as a family or running a 5k together on a set date.


Make your family a priority and resolve to spend time doing fun stuff outdoors, together, this year. You will not regret it.

TeamSierra
Traci Lehman
posted by
Traci Lehman
Blogger at Walk Simply
Traci Lehman is an IT Analyst by trade and when she's not in the office she shares her walking and outdoor adventures on Walk Simply. Based in Southern California, Traci hopes to inspire others to go outside, enjoy the little things, and view our world up-close. Follow along on her adventures and keep up on her newest contributions here, on her own blog or on Twitter.
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