The family is the very foundation of a child’s well-being—from birth to early formation to adolescence and adulthood.
Children are honed by the parent’s upbringing and how the whole family interacts and spends quality time together. Young as they are, children equate their well-being with positive family experiences. A study published in Frontier backs these claims, as it showed that the more time parents spend with their children, whether it’s life and leisure or educational interactions, the better the children’s overall well-being.
But how do we exactly spend family time that will not only help improve the children’s well-being but the entire family as well? What kind of health and well-being aspects are we looking to improve when it comes to family activities?
Hobbies and activities for family health and well-being
If your children love being in the water, swimming is a great way to bond with the family and promote health and well-being as well.
According to the Central for Disease Control and Prevention, swimming aids in water-based exercises among older adults with arthritis. For the entire family, swimming can also aid mental health by improving one’s mood and decreasing anxiety and depression. According to a study, swimming also helped parents of children with developmental disability connect with the family.
There’s no denying that exercising is one of the best ways to keep health and wellness in top shape, however, for kids, the word ‘exercise’ isn’t exactly the most enticing activity to do—especially alone, even for adults.
According to John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickoff, “While exercising alone has its benefits (like full control of your workout routine), many people find it difficult to do exercises alone, especially those who are just starting and those trying to build an exercise routine. Having an exercise buddy or group is the best way to motivate each other to do workouts.”
Among the many simple exercises that are safe and fun for the whole family are:
- Play a game of tag
- Play ball games like basketball and volleyball
- Play with hula hoops and jump rope
There’s nothing that can make physical activity more exciting than pairing it with some music, and dancing to your favorite tunes as a family definitely elevates this experience!
Dancing gives so many health and wellness benefits, not to mention that dancing is also a gentle sport and exercise that anybody can do, depending on the type of dance the family chooses to do. A few of the many benefits of dancing include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Boosts mood and confidence
- Improves social interactions
- Helps with gaining balance and strength
- Helps in managing weight
- Improves muscular fitness and motor skills
If the family is on the rather adventurous side, why not try hiking?
Hiking can be an enjoyable experience for children who love outdoor activities and interacting with nature and helps children connect with the outdoors at a young age.
With its numerous health benefits that include improved physical and mental well-being, improved muscles and bones, and improved heart health and balance—hiking on a steep incline is an enjoyable way for the family to get much-needed exercise together.
Kevin Le Gall, Owner and Lead Editor of Climbing House says, “While hiking is undoubtedly a fun activity for the family, parents need to be attentive and careful in choosing the trails and getting ready with children’s needs for the activity. It requires a lot of planning, even for adults, and taking kids along must require extra attention to detail and preparation.”
Health and well-being aren’t limited to improving physical strength and movements. A lot of aspects of overall health and well-being are tied to improving mental health and capacity, especially for children.
Indoor activities that don’t require a lot of movement, but help in the family’s health and well-being include:
- Board games like chess, scrabble, Game of the Generals, etc.
- Mindfulness exercises
- Card games
- Creating DIY items
- Drawing and painting
- Do simple science experiments
Eric Mills, Owner of Lightning Card Collection, says, “Improving health and wellness need to be so rigorous and tiring all the time. Rest, relaxation, and enjoyment, like playing board games or card games, is an effective form of helping our body and mind heal and improve as well.”
If you think that fishing is a boring activity that only involves you sitting around, then think again! Fishing is an enjoyable activity with the family and poses a lot of health benefits as well.
Fishing greatly improves the physique, even from a small and big catch, as it requires power, core strength, and mind game to pull up a single catch—even comparable to a workout.
Unfortunately, fishing isn’t just as simple as controlling a rod or throwing bait. If you’re a beginner, there are many tips on how to get started on fishing you can refer to for your first fishing experience with the family.
Regular family holidays
If you aren’t doing it yet, schedule regular holidays that the entire family can look forward to. The day doesn’t have to be anything special! You can schedule every Sunday as a family day where the entire family goes out for lunch and go mall hopping.
With something to look forward to, children can get through the week excitedly!
Set meal times
Parents should never undermine the importance of eating together as a family. According to studies, eating together showed improved dietary intake due to a higher intake of fruits and a lower intake of fast food.
Having set meal times helps the family develop healthy eating patterns that in turn help improve physical health and well-being as well as maintain tight family relationships, especially with younger children.
With the world quickly changing in the blink of an eye, parents must pay extra attention to the environment their children are growing and thriving in—and it all starts at home.
With a family that places importance on spending time together to do meaningful, healthy, and fun activities, children can grow in an environment that promotes and prioritizes their well-being physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
About the Author: Alejandra Leyva is a digital nomad who practices slow living. She is willing to learn and spread her knowledge about taking time in our rushing world.