It’s a shame that with the beautiful weather summer brings, more and more children choose to stay inside. However, there is plenty of summer and sun left this season and we want to help you and your family make the best of this time of year!

Keeping your family healthy over summer can prove to be a daunting task. That’s why we’re here to give you 5 Easy Ways to Make This a Happy & Healthy Summer.

1) Eat Together as a Family

A family that eats together stays healthy together. Recent research suggests that there are several benefits associated with family dinnertime.

One reason eating together may help promote healthy eating habits has to do with the conversation that takes place during dinner. If your child is having a rough time with friends, they will be able to express themselves in an open environment we like to call the “dinner table”. Children are less likely to eat unhealthy foods if they are able to express their emotions.

Another reason that eating together can help your child develop healthy eating habits is what they are eating and how much they eat is monitored by you, the parent or guardian. You know what is best for your child whether they want to believe it or not!

Preparing healthy meals and finding time to eat together can be difficult, but we promise you that if you put forth the effort, the results will be worth it.

2) Encourage Exercise

Teaching your kids how to enjoy exercise is not impossible. Although bribing them may work, we don’t think that a money for exercise program is the best approach.

How can you get your child to enjoy exercising – not the result, not the preparation, not the finish line, but the actual workout?

It’s simple. Workout together with them!

Exercising might mean finding an activity that is fun for everyone and all levels, like indoor cycling. Plenty of gyms offers family memberships and packages.

Exercising can be as simple as going on a bike ride after dinner. The point here is to get your child to associate a loving relationship with exercising and spending time outside. One day they will look back and remember your nightly neighborhood rides and incorporate them into their own lives.

3) Limit computer use

Is it ironic that a post on the internet is telling you to limit internet usage? Probably.

Irony aside, your child probably spends too much time on the computer. While computer usage can be great for researching or communicating during the school year, over the summer children can become lethargic and “veg out” in front of computer screens which serves no real benefit to them.

How can parents limit the amount of time that someone spends on the internet? The answer is simple: Monitor usage.

Have you child perform healthy research like looking for a good hike in your area, or finding a good bike ride along the coast. If your family doesn’t feel comfortable riding bikes on the road, we have a program to get you started.

Show your child there are more fun things to do than play on the internet. They can learn to surf, kick box or our favorite, mountain bike. Get them outside doing something!

4) Stay Hydrated

With the temperature rising, the need to stay hydrated becomes more important than ever. Even if you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, your body temperature is still rising.

Aside from staying hydrated, drinking more water can help you lose weight. Instructor and personal trainer Paul Howell notes, “A hunger sensation can often be attributed to thirst. So next time you feel hungry, reach for a bottle of water instead of a bag of chips.”

Drinking water will help keep your body functioning properly as well as give you more awareness of what type of sensation you are feeling. When you want to go for a snack ask yourself if you’re hungry or just thirsty.

5) Have Fun

Pick activities the entire family can enjoy. Try something new whether it is a new sport or a new cycling trail. Enroll your family in a sporting event like a 10K race or 20K ride. Explore new areas in Santa Cruz.

Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure that it is entertaining and provides a stimulating environment for you and your children.

We hope you have a great summer. Get outside, enjoy the weather and show your kids what it means to be a kid!

Want to try mountain biking this summer? Our week long summer camp will have you riding like a pro in no time. Space is limited!

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