Our brand loves to promote wellness in all walks of life, whether that's through mental wellness, physical wellness (and swapping out antiperspirant for PiperWai, obviously.) For families, it's always a good time to create wellness habits that are fun so your children view wellness as a fun part of life. Our friend Trevor breaks down some ways you can incorporate wellness into your family unit.
Spending time together as a family doesn’t have to be expensive. And more so, spending time together as a family can actually improve your overall health and wellness – it all depends on what you do. Here are eight affordable wellness activities you can do as a family.
Head to the playground
If you have young kids, a great way to stay active with them is by taking them to the local playground. Playgrounds are natural obstacle courses, with wellness opportunities for both parents and kids alike. You can get a quick arm workout by pushing your kids on the swing for a turn, or squeeze in some lunges and squats while they take their turn on the jungle gym. When all else fails, just embrace your inner kids and play – it’s one of the best physical and emotional wellness acts you can take!
Go on a nature walk
Another great way to spend time together as a family is to go on a nature walk. In addition to being healthy, this is also a very flexible activity option, since you can do it pretty much anywhere! You can head to a local hiking trail, or even just hit the sidewalk in your neighborhood and take a stroll together.
As you walk, point out different trees, animals, sights and sounds to combine exercise and education. You can also use this time to subtly show your family how important it is to stay active – and to show how easy it can be just to get outside and take a walk. These will help create healthy habits for your kids as they grow, and also instill a love of being outside.
Take a road trip, no matter how far
You won’t get any health points for sitting in the car and driving, but taking a road trip as a family is a great way to spend some quality time together, and go on an adventure. Your road trip can take you as close or as far from home as you’d like to go. Chances are, there’s a national park somewhere close to you (you can find the closest national park to you with this tool). Just make sure that when you take a road trip, you pack lots of healthy snacks, so there’s no temptation to stop and drive-thrus and fast-food restaurants on the way.
Go for a swim
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the “second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children ages one through 14.” Swimming is an important life skill (and survival skill) that should be taught to children at a young age.
But learning to swim doesn’t have to be an activity that they go at alone! If you sign your child up for swim lessons, head to the pool with them and get your swimming time in too. Many towns offer community pools that are open to the public and affordable or you can do drop ins at fitness facilities at an affordable rate without having a membership. This will help demonstrate to your child that swimming can be something you do for fun – if it’s important for you to do it, then they will internalize that it’s important for them to learn how to do it as well.
You can also go swimming and play in the water with your child through fun beach trips, lake trips and more! Rule of thumb: anything that moves your body is good for you. Bonus points if you have fun while doing it!
Cook dinner together
It’s important to treat your body well on the outside, but it’s also important to fuel your body from the inside out with good food and nutrition. A great way to teach your kids the value of good food is by cooking dinner with them. You can even go through the process of going to the store together, picking out healthy ingredients, and then turning those ingredients into a delicious dinner. This is a great way to spend time together and teach your kids new skills and healthy habits and skills that they can use throughout their lives.
Plant a garden
Speaking of healthy foods, another great wellness activity that you can do as a family is starting your own garden. Yes, this will help you grow healthy foods for your meals, and also teach children the value of hard work. But the act of gardening is also linked to stress relief and higher levels of self-esteem, both of which are crucial elements of emotional and mental wellness. Consider starting a family garden for some low-cost fun and bonding.
Yoga isn't just for grown-ups. In fact, more and more elementary, middle and high schools have taken to teaching yoga in school, especially during physical education classes. Yoga is great for the body, but it's also great for mental clarity and stress relief. Get the family together and do some sun salutations, or put on a yoga video that you can all do together in the living room. You'll all feel better afterwards, pretty much guaranteed!
Implement family quiet time
Equally important to physical wellness is mental wellness. And in the hustle and bustle of our busy days, it’s easy to lose focus on how important it is to take some down time for yourself – and to encourage this recognition in your kids and family as well.
To teach the importance of quiet, reflective time, set some designated periods of quiet time in the home. Get some coloring books or sketchpads out for the kids, or a book for them to read – something that they find enjoyable. (Yes, comic books and age-appropriate magazines count! Reading is reading) Then, get out a quiet activity of your own and spend shared time doing your activities together in silence. Maybe put on some music, but make sure the TV stays off!