Healthy Backyard Games

Spring at last, spring at last” ¦ thank God almighty its spring at last! Now if I can just get the kids off of the video games and outside to play. Playtime is a good way for gets to get the exercise they need to develop strong, healthy bodies. Merely going out into the sunlight is healthy in itself as exposure to sunlight causes the skin to produce vitamin D3, which is a vital prohormone the body needs to help absorb calcium for strong bones and proper muscle function.

Just don”t get too much sunlight, and don”t let yourself sunburn. Use a little sunscreen- but not too much – or you won”t get the exposure. There is a happy medium that is ideal. Apply sunscreen to the body parts that get the most exposure, such as the tops of the shoulders, back, arms and the bridge of the nose, but not on lesser exposed parts and this will provide protection from burns yet still allow exposure that is beneficial.

Athletic activities that involve the whole family are not only a way to get some exercise, but also promote togetherness of the family unit, which seems to be rare these days. A badminton set is fun for all ages, and as few as two persons or as many as you have rackets for, and add a volley ball and there is more healthy family fun for everyone.

A favorite of mine was always horse shoes. Not really a lot of exercise with that game, but it gets you outside and with up to four players, mom, dad, sister and brother can all get involved. Another favorite that I remember from the days of my youth was croquet. The whole family could get involved in that game as well, and the exercise it provides is light enough to get grandma and grandpa involved too. It”s an American family picnic classic.

For the more energetic and athletic there is always basketball or softball. Just playing with the family may be difficult unless you have a very large family. But summer leagues are something that some of the family can become involved in. Often softball is played in the evening or early night hours under lights so there isn”t a worry for sunburn or heat related problems there, and with the faster pace of this sport there is definitely a lot of healthy exercise involved, but that”s not really a backyard game.

Basketball on the other hand is easily played in the family backyard. All you need is a basketball goal and a basketball and its game on. Played alone just to sharpen the skills or played between two or more players, basketball is a versatile sport that provides much healthy exercise for the kids or mom and dad alike. But if playing in the heat of the day make sure to take breaks and drink plenty of water, and using a little sunscreen would probably be a good idea too.

Another family favorite for the kiddies was always hide and seek. The little ones always seemed to enjoy this past time. And there was definitely a lot of exercise running around whenever that was played. And of course let”s not forget swimming. If you are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool, this is an excellent form of exercise. Swimming works all of the muscle groups, and if there is someone in the family that has been injured or has poor health, merely walking in the water affords a good amount of exercise.

Summer fun in the family backyard isn”t really that difficult. The key is to just get up and go outside and play!


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