School’s out for the summer and kids are ready to play! This is a great time to make healthy habits part of your family’s summer plans. Give your kids a start for lifelong cancer protection by helping them be active. For adults, AICR research shows that moving for at least 30 minutes daily lowers the risk for post-menopausal breast, colorectal, and endometrial cancers.
To find out how Americans will be getting active, the National Recreation and Park Association asked about favorite summer outdoor activities in a recent survey. Half of those surveyed said that going for a walk or a hike is one of their favorites. Walking and hiking are great ways to explore nature in your local park, on a National Park trail, or to find a new shop in your neighborhood. At the same time you’ll boost fitness, strengthen muscles and build endurance.
The survey also showed that favorite summer activities differ between generations. If you have young kids, going to the pool or beach and going camping is more popular. Having a picnic or barbeque and going hiking are favorites for grandparents or people with older kids. All ages said they enjoy exploring nature and attending festivals.
No matter your age, physical activity is beneficial. It can help you feel your best, be at a healthy weight, and prevent cancer. All of these summer outdoor activities are perfect for socializing or enjoying alone time, while sneaking in some exercise. Bring a Frisbee, football, or volleyball to picnics and beaches to be active and have fun as a family!
There are a lot of resources to help you be active this summer. Check out the National Park Service website or your state park website to find parks near you. Also, take advantage of the Every Kid In a Park program, which gives fourth graders and their family free access to parks. If there are no parks near you, try these fun activities in your own neighborhood: mix it up with an obstacle course, beat the heat with a water balloon fight, or add some friendly competition with kickball and soccer.
Kaila Schoenberger is an Education & Communication Intern at AICR. She is an MPH/RD candidate from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Kaila believes in preventing cancer by encouraging simple ways for people to eat well and be active.