Friday 24 May 2024

5 Tips for Getting the Whole Family Walking This Summer

**Collaborative Feature**

Walking is a fantastic way to stay active and spend time together as a family, plus it's FREE so why not give it a go yourself and consider planning some family walks planning some family walks! Summer can be the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors and create lasting memories with your family, all while seeing new sights and spending some tech free time together. Walking is also a fantastic way to bond, exercise, and explore new places that might be inaccessible by car, walking is an activity everyone (young and old) can get involved in.

Here are five tips to help get your whole family walking this summer:

1. Make it Fun and Engaging

To keep everyone motivated, turn your walks into exciting adventures. Create a scavenger hunt with a list of things to find, like a red flower, a unique rock, or a specific type of bird. Incorporate games such as "I Spy" or storytelling, where each person adds a sentence to a story as you walk. These activities make the walk more engaging, especially for younger children. If permitted you could even take a little ziplock bag and bring home any "treasures" the kids find during the walk (usually rocks, leaves and feathers!)

2. Plan and Explore New Routes

Routine can become monotonous, so spice things up by exploring new walking routes. Research local parks, nature trails, or scenic neighbourhoods you've never visited before. You can also incorporate themed walks, such as a beach walk, forest walk, or a historical tour of your town. Discovering new places keeps the walks interesting and provides fresh experiences for everyone. Maybe ask the kids if there is something they would like to see such as a waterfall or animals etc and try to find a walk that incorporates that.

3. Set Goals and Celebrate Milestones

Set achievable walking goals for the family, such as a certain number of steps per day or a specific distance per week. If you have little kids you could use these milestones as a chance to get them to eat/drink s Use a pedometer or a walking app to track your progress. Celebrate milestones with small rewards, like a family picnic, a movie night, or a favourite treat. This encourages consistent participation and adds a sense of accomplishment and excitement.

4. Involve Everyone in Planning

Get everyone involved in planning the walks. Allow each family member to choose a destination or route, and take turns being the "walk leader." This gives everyone a sense of ownership and investment in the activity. Discuss and agree on the best times to walk, considering everyone's schedules and preferences, to ensure that it becomes a regular and anticipated part of your routine. As I mentioned above, ask the kids if there is anything they want to see in particular, perhaps they want to find a walk with a watera

5. Combine Walking with Other Activities

Enhance your walks by combining them with other fun activities. Plan a walk to a local ice cream shop, a playground, or a favourite restaurant. You could also integrate walking with hobbies, like photography, bird watching, or collecting leaves and flowers for a craft project. By blending walking with other enjoyable pursuits, you'll make the experience more appealing to all family members.

Bonus Tip: Stay Safe and Comfortable

Ensure everyone is comfortable and safe during walks. Wear appropriate footwear, apply sunscreen, and carry water bottles to stay hydrated. If you are a newcomer to walking in might be worth investing in some foot/shoe insoles such as ZeroSole which can help comfort and give relief from everyday foot pain and can act as an extra protection for your feet when walking. Consider the weather and dress accordingly. For evening walks, bring flashlights or wear reflective gear. Keeping safety and comfort in mind will make the walks more pleasant and enjoyable for everyone.

Walking as a family is a wonderful way to stay active and connect with each other. By making it fun, exploring new routes, setting goals, involving everyone in the planning, and combining it with other activities, you can create a summer full of memorable walking adventures. So lace up those walking shoes and start exploring together!


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