For families looking for things to do together, outdoor activities are a fantastic way to gather new experiences, enhance their knowledge of the world, and strengthen their bond.
From sporty pursuits like taking cycling classes or tennis lessons together to indulging in more leisurely activities like nature tripping at the beach, getting out in the sun in one sure way to have fun.
We all need a bit of sunshine
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports says that people need 120 minutes in natural environments. Time with nature has measured benefits to people’s health and well-being. This information was culled from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment survey that examined data from around 20,000 respondents.
The fast and furious pace of modern day life usually sees people spending more time in offices, schools, or other enclosed spaces. Parents can get stuck in the daily grind, rushing to work early in the morning and getting home when the sun has already set. Kids, after being confined in school all day, go home and get preoccupied with games and their gadgets. Teenagers and even adults tend to turn to their digital screens for rest and relaxation while watching shows and videos.
Too much screen time for kids under five years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can lead to inadequate sleep, childhood obesity, and other associated diseases later in adulthood. Furthermore, the WHO panel of experts released guidelines for shifting from sedentary behavior to a more active lifestyle.
Adults who engage in too much screen time also increase their risk for diabetes, heart attack, and weight gain, as well as chronic neck and back pain and vision problems.
If you don’t want to find yourself and your family in these dire situations, spending quality time outdoors is part of the solution. Here are some of the top outdoor activities that you can enjoy with your family:
1. Cycling Classes
Aside from being an excellent alternative mode of transportation, cycling is also an exciting form of exercise and recreation. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscle strength. In addition, it can improve posture, increase stamina, and reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and obesity. Finally, riding a bike is a way to help protect the environment because it reduces harmful emissions produced by cars that use a combustion engine.
It is ideal to learn how to ride a bike in a safe yet fun environment, such as in sports academies or cycling clinics. The advantage of learning how to safely ride a bike from experienced cycling coaches is that you get to practice the sport equipped with proper safety knowledge. A cycling program can also help children and adults to develop their skills from beginners, perhaps even leading up to elite racing levels.
2. Picnics at the Park
Going on a picnic is another worthwhile family activity. Spending time together under the shade of trees and surrounded by nature is one way to be close to each other. You can just spread out your picnic mat, take out the spread of delicious healthy food that you prepared, and exchange stories while you eat.
Picnics are a great way to de-stress as you can play together afterwards or sit and enjoy quiet time with a book or a nap. Everyone can catch up on each other’s lives as well.
3. Backyard Play
You do not always have to go far if you want to engage in outdoor activities with your family. If you have a yard or garden, take advantage of it and engage in playful activities. It doesn’t matter what age you are — as long as the whole family is together, you can surely come up with fun activities that everyone can join in on.
You can play house, hide and seek, or even set up a splash pool in the yard. You can make a day of it by holding your own mini sports fest, complete with ball games, relay races, or team sports. Imagination is the key to enjoying outdoor playtime with the family. A barbecue can cap off the jolly activities and sate your hungry appetites afterward.
Swimming is another sports activity that will bring about physical, mental, emotional, and psychological benefits. Aside from strengthening your body, swimming also requires focus and concentration as well as determination and patience, especially if you or your child is training for swimming competitions.
For a more leisurely approach to swimming, you can get yourselves a beach club pass and enjoy all the amenities and perks that come with it. Choose from outdoor activities like swimming in the sea or pool, engaging in water sports, playing volleyball in the sand, or simply strolling along the shore with each other. You can marvel at the wonders of nature, look for seashells or sea creatures, and just enjoy each other’s company while soaking up the sun.
5. Tennis Lessons
Playing tennis can be an exhilarating experience for the whole family. If you will be playing doubles, your teamwork can be improved as well as your dexterity, endurance, and stamina. The physical and health benefits will simply work to your advantage and keep your heart and mind fit.
There are tennis classes and camps for both kids and adults. Professional coaches and trainers will teach the proper tennis rules and techniques so you can elevate your skill as you go through the program. You and your kids can enroll in classes together and cherish the experience.
Out and About
There’s no doubt that outdoor activities such as playing sports, spending time in parks, and even just playing in the yard can enhance a person’s physical and mental health and well-being. What’s more, it can improve relationships and social interaction, help with emotional and psychological stresses, and strengthen the bond between family members.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.