The weather is at its prime and there’s no better time to enjoy the great outdoors than right now. With summer in full swing and social distancing orders beginning to relax, a great way to soak up some vitamin D, stay active, and have fun while you’re at it is to try your hand at a new sport!
Take it casually or competitively—the choice is yours! Whether you’d like a light, social activity on the weekends, want to dedicate a couple of afternoons per week to a routine practice schedule, or teach the kids the crucial importance of sports, this list of 5 activities will help you find the perfect fit for your preferences this season.
If there was ever a time to dive into the sport of swimming, this is it! Enroll the kids in swimming lessons to teach them how to freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke—but most importantly, how to stay afloat in the pool at all the backyard barbeques you’ll be attending in the coming months. Sure, a pair of floaties can take the load of your parental supervision duties, but certified swimming lessons will instill more confidence for better peace of mind.
Mom and Dad can also reap the exercise benefits of swimming at their own pace by heading to the community pool, local YMCA, or a nearby body of water while someone else keeps eyes on the kids. It’s a great way to elevate your heart rate, build endurance, tone muscles, and maintain healthy lungs—all while minimizing the impact of stress on your body often caused by other athletic endeavors.
- Track and Field
Running is on the other end of the spectrum, as the repetitive force of shock upon landing can do a pretty great job of jostling joints and bones. If you’re looking for sports to pick up later in life, this may not be the best choice because it can lead to common sport injuries that may sideline your activity before being able to fully enjoy the sport and its health benefits.
But if you want to get the kids into prime condition for tryouts in the fall, start them with track and field this summer! You don’t need to spend a fortune on enrollment fees; you can pick up a pair of track spikes and build their athleticism with some DIY coaching on the field at their school.
Even though you may be past your heyday, track and field can be a tremendous sport for children because it increases their ability to block out distractions and pay attention for sustained periods of time, as well as teaching them self-discipline and coping mechanism when faced with new challenges.
Tennis can be great choice for both kids and adults over summer—especially while social distancing orders remain in effect during quarantine, since you’ll be spread out on the court during game play. You might be deterred by the summer sun radiating off the pavement in the middle of the day, but playing early in the morning or taking it up as an activity in the evening can help beat the heat while having tons of fun.
Basketball is similar to tennis in the sense that you can head to the local playground and involve the whole family with a pickup game between parents and children. Dad can relive his glory days, Mom can enhance her hand-eye coordination, and the kids can learn about picks that they’ll be able to spot while watching their favorite NBA team on TV.
- Beach Volleyball
If you want to sneak in a little cardio action and feel the adrenaline of some friendly competition, then beach volleyball is the way to go. There are many co-ed recreation leagues across the country that can match you with players who share similar skillsets, or you can purchase a portable volleyball net to get a family game going on your local court.
You’ll be surprised by how sore your muscles can feel after a few fun rounds! Arms, abs, calves—you name it. This total-body sport will tone all your muscle groups while burning a ton of calories, but you’ll be having such a good time that you’ll barely notice the work you put in!
These five ideas merely scratch the surface of activities you can check out, but they’re a great starting point! The most important thing is to stay active and promote healthy lifestyle habits and wear a smile on your face while doing so.