According to an article by Melissa Healy in the L.A. Times, Latino children are more likely to exercise if their parents are physically active. Even if you do your own exercise routine alone during the week, you could use the weekends to engage in a family sport. Not only will all members of the household be in better shape, but on better terms with one another. Sharing a sport is a great way to bond.
Here are some fun family-friendly sports you may want to try with your tribe:
Hiking is great to do in a group. You can take baby along in a baby carrier or an all-terrain stroller. Older kids can keep up if you plan a short route. Make frequent stops to hydrate and eat. Make sure you dress in layers (or less), depending on the weather in your area. Use sunscreen, even in winter, and carry plenty of water and healthy snacks.
Best Hiking Trails in the US.
Rock climbing is a lot of fun. I’ve done it in different cities: Miami , Tampa and Berkley, always indoors, and I was pleasantly surprised to see people of all heights and sizes climbing. The first time I took my kids, I gave them a few tips and in no time they were climbing like monkeys, faster and more gracefully than I ever could! Bouldering doesn’t require that you wear a harness because you don’t climb as high, but it requires a lot more strength, thought and coordination than vertical climbing with a harness.
Rock Climbing Walls and Gyms in the US.
You don’t need to be a pro to reap the fitness benefits of hitting a ball with a racket. You can play singles or doubles with your brood without even keeping track of the score. If you want to get more serious, then you can all take classes and enjoy that as a family. Be patient with the younger ones and keep in mind that you’re doing it for fun and to be active, not to become the next Anna Kournikova.
Places to Play Tennis in the US.
When my kids were very young, I would go to a park where there were free racquetball courts. My eldest played on the monkey bars, my baby slept in her stroller, and I’d beat the heck out of a racquetball. I found it to be a great stress reliever. Fast forward a few years and the three of us have a blast playing racquetball together. No score-keeping involved, just a lot of running, sweating, and trying to hit the ball. Protective eye-wear is strongly recommended!
How to play racquetball.
When my eldest was four months old, I signed her up to swimming classes. I now realize it did more for my social life than for her swimming skills, but now that my kids are older, we sometimes go swim laps together. Swimming can be a lifesaver in the summer months, since kids love to be in the water. It is also one of the best-rounded sports.
Benefits of swimming for kids.
When my kids were younger, I’d bike and they’d tag along sitting in a bike-trailer attached to my wheels. Once they could pedal, it was fun to ride side by side. If you’re afraid of biking in traffic, as I am, then go to trails on weekends or, if you live in a quiet neighborhood, bike to the store with your little ones. A usually boring shopping trip can become an adventurous outing.
American Bike Trails.
INLINE SKATING OR ICE SKATING
An all-time favorite activity for all ages! Make sure you wear protective gear; especially wrist-guards and a helmet. Keep in mind that the younger crowd can bounce right back from a fall, whereas an adult has a higher risk of breaking a bone! Make sure you all learn how to fall (on hands and knees) before you attempt to skate for the first time. Take lessons if need be. It’s a lot of fun and can be done in a skating rink, an empty parking lot or on the sidewalk.
Inline skating rinks.
I’m a runner, so I definitely recommend this one. First of all, it’s free! Second, if you can get your kid to lace up her kicks and run with you, she may get hooked for life. Running is not for everyone, but once you get into it, it can be addictive. Young kids can participate in one-mile fun runs with you and even 5 k runs. I started running with my dad when I was 12, and it was the time when we would talk and bond. Now, my 10-year-old sometimes runs with me and cheers me on while I train for my upcoming half-marathon.
Running clubs in the US.