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5 Tips for Managing Your Family's Health and Fitness During the Summer Months

Some families have already begun their summer and are in the mix of busy days trying to manage family events, work, and focus on health and fitness. Unfortunately, health and fitness often get overlooked in planning. This is where it is important to have a family meeting and make goals related to health and fitness for the summer months. This will keep some accountability for each member of the family. Yes, parents and guardians, you need to prioritize your health as well as the kids. Here are five tips to help you manage this summer.

Number One: Schedule Exercise for You

I have been through this one and heard this from others. Your kid has a sport that takes you to another city for almost the whole day! You miss out on a morning exercise routine or you just have enough in you to get the family out the door to the event. First of all, you might need to schedule ahead and wake up earlier and get the workout in. It may be lifting weights in your house or garage or going for a walk or run outdoors. You will feel better getting it done. Or you get on exercise clothes and shoes and once your kid is warming up for the game, you then go for a walk and do bodyweight strength training. You might invite a friend or spouse to go with you. You are also showing an example to your children and you are prioritizing yourself as well.

Number Two: Schedule Exercise for the Family

Look for fitness events in your region that focus on the family or come up with your own. There are all kinds of community running/walking/biking events throughout the summer in most places people live. You may also find a bike trail and make a day event for your family. You might also just pack snacks and a lunch and go on a day hike. Plan to bring healthy snacks and stay hydrated as well. Make it fun, hike to a scenic place, and have a family picnic!

Number Three: Make your healthy snacks and meals for on-the-go

It is more expensive to just buy conveniently packaged food items or stop at a fast food place while you are out and about this summer. And all the processed food items are not good for you or your family's health. Plan the night before to make a cold salad, fruit, vegetables, protein snacks, and beverages (light on the sugar) to add to the cooler when you are on your way the next day. There are several recipes for all budgets on the internet. I usually make a summer pasta salad and lemon miso dressing in large quantities so my family often will have lunch and dinner taken care of. I will also make trail cookies or protein bites for snacks. I love having prewashed blueberries and strawberries as well. My family will each bring a reusable water bottle and have extra water in the vehicle.

Number Four: Plan time to Rest and Recover

Rest and recovery can work in many ways. I recently completed a running race where I had to stay overnight near the location since it was a long drive from home. I packed my yoga mat, massage gun, tennis ball, and massage ball. I did some night-before stretching, massage, and meditation. You can plan for what works for you, bring a journal to write in, schedule a nap, or whatever allows you to rest and recover. You need to prioritize this and possibly schedule it as well so you don't compromise on this one.

Number Five: Unplug for You and Your Families' Mental Health

Have you heard about the links to depression and time spent on devices like our phones and computers? The family also misses out on meaningful time to connect and have memories to look back upon. Instead of browsing on your phone while in the vehicle or sitting at the beach finishing work on your computer, spend quality time with each other. Healthy relationships require quality time together. Your relationships have an important impact on your mental health.

If you need help to get started or have an exercise plan you can work with me. If you are dealing with pain or injuries and need to address these and know what to do while out and about with summer plans, I can also guide you here as well. Please visit my website,, or email to set up an appointment with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Personal Trainer, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.

#LiveInspired, #Compassion&KnowledgeToHeal

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT, owner of Garage Training & Rehab Gym

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