Family fitness for summer

By Dorothy Page, MD  |  6/5/2018

It's June and if you are the average parent then you know what is happening before the end of the month. School's out!

Now that you've taken two minutes to scream silently in your mind, wring your hands and bury your face in your hands, come back to me. Let's do what we must – plan on how we are going to keep these wonderful running, bouncing, laughing packages of compressed energy occupied and fit all summer (while also not losing our minds).

Family-friendly fun opportunities are everywhere. If we force ourselves to get up and out there with the kids, it will be healthy for us, too.

Here are five simple suggestions:

1. Jump up and play tag or water balloons. Get a Nerf blaster and go for it. It will be the best fun you've had in a while. Remember, kids make up the rules as they go along. Make a few that will help you, too. All this running will make you sleep better at night, too.

2. Take frequent breaks for water and healthy snacks, like fruit or trail mix. Make your own ice pops from frozen, homemade fruit juice.

3. This is the point when you realize it's only 11 a.m. Throw some frozen water bottles in a small cooler with a strap, along with some apples or oranges, which can travel all day and still taste good. Head out to some of the local hiking spots. Remember to pack sunblock, hats and bug repellent. Stretch before you let the kids out of the car so you will not ache too much later.

4. Oh my, how time flies when you live like a kid. Need a quick, 20-minute dinner idea? Throw some corn, eggplant or sweet peppers on the grill along with black bean, salmon or turkey burgers. Serve with strawberries and blueberries in seltzer water. Get the kids to slice some cucumbers. Toss with cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, grapes and snap peas.

5. Wind down the evening with family storytime, sharing a book or game together. Both can be picked up earlier at the local library for free. Ah, bedtime finally!

Dr. Dorothy Page is a primary care physician at Health Quest Medical Practice in Fishkill. Read Dr. Page's  bio or reach her office at 845-896-8784. For more information, visit www.healthquest.org/primarycare.