Getting outside for some fresh air and activity as a family may be just what the doctor ordered, literally.
Katie Queen, MD, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health pediatrician, certified in pediatric obesity medicine and medical director at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health Weight & Nutrition Center, says regular outdoor family exercise can lead to positive health benefits and better relationships.
In addition to soaking up fresh air and sunshine, you’ll reduce stress levels, bond over shared conversations and strengthen your bodies together.
Train for Our Amazing Half Marathon
One idea: Start training as a family for our upcoming exceptionally fun race day. Join us for next Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health Amazing Half Marathon, 5K, and One-mile Family Fun Run!
We have races for every level of fitness and for your entire family. If you don’t know where to start, there are apps to help you train for a 5K as a family, such as “5K Runner: Couch to 5K.”
Lace up your shoes and walk or run together as you get ready for the race. You never know—it just might become part of your family’s regular routine.
Or Start Small
Progress over perfection, and even little bits of activity can add up over time. Just as the bond you share with your child is built through shared experiences, your exercise routine will grow as you get active together.
For example, when you take the kids to the playground, leave the phone in your car and skip, run or climb alongside them. The giggles will be worth it, and you can get your heart pumping at the same time.
Benefits of Outdoor Physical Activity
Exercise pays off for everyone, half marathons or otherwise. Children need to move their bodies, and grown-ups do, too. From stress relief to improved cardiovascular health, regular physical activity is important for all ages and all bodies.
Being outside for that exercise has other important benefits for both kids and adults. Research shows fresh air and free play reduce stress levels, and outdoor play also benefits kids’ cognitive, social and emotional development.
Spending time in nature is associated with improving mood and happiness. And a little bit of sunshine can boost your Vitamin D levels. Enjoying time together while unplugged from daily technology also just feels great.
Your family’s foundation gets stronger the more time you spend together. Get all those benefits and more by regularly engaging in fresh-air fun as a family.