Ask a Health Coach: What Can I Do With My Kids to Get Active This Summer?

May 11, 2016
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market

School is beginning to wind down, and so are all of my kids’ sports and activities. I want to make sure that they stay healthy and active this summer—Netflix is off-limits. What can we all do together that’s fun, energizing, and interesting? —Erin

I think it’s great that you want the whole family to get moving this summer! A lot of us forget, but kids need exercise—a minimum of 60 minutes, seven days a week according to the Centers for Disease Control, including both aerobic and muscle- and bone-strengthening activity.

Hiking covers both types, and it’s one of the easiest (and most inexpensive) ways to get moving—the constant change in scenery keeps those with short attention spans engaged, too. Check the National Park Service map to see which parks and forests are close to you; you can find trails that range in difficulty and complexity to satisfy everyone from novice to expert hikers.

Spending the whole day outside with the fam, especially during summer, requires some planning ahead: snacks, sun protection, hydration, and bug repellent are all on the must-pack list! Here are just a few of my hiking bag essentials.

Elemental Herbs Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30

No excuses for pink cheeks when you’ve got this little guy on hand. It’s free of chemicals (read: totally kid-safe), and formulated with natural zinc oxide and organic oils like jojoba, coconut, and avocado to keep skin protected and moisturized. Remember that any SPF over 50 is usually a waste of money—many of these products are mislabeled and not as strong as they claim, contain more harmful additives, or don’t shield skin properly from UVA rays. This spill-proof stick does the trick, as long as you reapply as needed (at least every two hours).

All Terrain Herbal Armor Insect Repellent

Last summer bug bites were an itchy, somewhat painful annoyance. This year they’re a legit threat to your health. In 2016, Zika has been all over the news, and Lyme disease–carrying ticks have been found all over the U.S.—not just in the northeast, where they’re usually a danger. Skip the 100 percent DEET formula (if it can melt plastic, it’s probably not wise to spray all over your bod), and even the questionable 30 to 60 percent DEET sprays and opt for an all-natural bug spray. All Terrain’s is made with six pest-repellent oils that smell delightful, and it’s also 100 percent effective for two hours.

Krave Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky  

A health coach and nutritionist recommending beef jerky? OK, hear me out—this is not the same as that preservative-filled stuff at your local gas station, which is coated with artificial flavors and feels like cardboard (no wonder it never goes bad!). Krave is totally different—it’s marinated for 48 hours, baked, and finished with gluten-free, all-natural seasonings. And with 8 grams of protein per serving, it’ll keep you and the kids full on the trail. Have vegans in the group? Watch the vid to see my favorite plant-based snack!

Zico Coconut Water

Whether you pack waters, coconut waters, or all-natural sports drinks, staying hydrated is the key to staying happy and healthy out on the trail. You’ll definitely need to replenish the body’s electrolyte stores and fluids to stave off dehydration after a few hours of sweating. Coconut water is a great option because it’s high in potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous—all essential electrolytes that your body craves during exercise.
Watch the video to see the rest of my day hiking necessities, and let us know where you’ll be exploring the great outdoors this summer!

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SPF 30 Sunstick - Coconut

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 Sunstick, SPF 30, Unscented

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Beef Jerky - Sweet Chipotle

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Pure Premium Coconut Water, 2-Pack

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Herbal Armor Insect Repellent

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This article is related to: Ask a Health Coach, Health, Nutrition, Paleo, Summer, Vegan, All Natural, Kids, Video, Educational

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  • Legend79

    I'm appaled...yes, that's the correct word - that anyone would ever need to ask a health coach how to be active with their children. Kids are active by nature, its slothful adults who inhibit them. So look at your children and notice how they like to run around and figure out what activities would keep them active. Field sports, court sports, water sports. Team or individual, but for the kids sake mix them up.
    Beach park ,summer school, camp get those kids moving¡!! And the adults too! Practice what you preach.