Get creative with healthy family fun.

June 22, 2017

Warmer weather, longer days, no school — summer is here. Now’s the time to get active and out of the house with these health-conscious ideas.

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Dr. Debra Balos, with IU Health Physicians Family Medicine, provides pointers on putting health front and center during your summer fun time. Learn more
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Keep moving. Exercise is one of the best ways to promote overall wellbeing, and summer is chock-full of family-friendly sports and activities that will rev up the heart rate.

• Parks and playgrounds provide ample opportunities for hiking, bicycling, climbing, Frisbee, flying a kite, tossing a ball, and more.

• Rain in the forecast? No, problem — go bowling. It’s easy and fun.

• Make good use of your gym membership. You can set a great example for your kids by maintaining your regular workout routine, especially if your club offers childcare.

• Water, babies. Whether you have your own pool or belong to a swim club, swimming and splashing are great aerobic activities. If you don’t have access to a pool, break out the sprinkler for some evening frolic.

• Register your family for a 5K run. Because of the shorter distance and cardiovascular benefit, 5K runs are often recommended by healthcare providers. However, you should still prepare. Make sure your family is in good health, has had some training, and is outfitted with the proper clothing.

Lighten up your meals. Put that Crock-Pot away for a while. Grilling and fresh produce make summer the perfect time to eat “clean” and light.

• Grow your own food. After you’ve tasted a homegrown tomato or bell pepper, you won’t want to go back to store-bought. And besides, keeping a vegetable and herb garden is good physical activity.

• Plan regular family outings to your local farmers’ market. Not only will your family get fresh, nutrient-rich foods, you’ll be spending quality time together while learning how to make wise food choices.

• Prepare meals together as a family whenever you can. It’s about teaching your children to value freshly prepared meals, as opposed to fast or frozen food. Put the focus on vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, then enjoy dinner outside on your patio.

Take in the sights. Last but not least, Indianapolis offers event- and festival-filled months ahead that can expand our horizons and cultivate curiosity, leading to a healthier mindset and healthier living. Here are a few ideas:

• Indy Film Fest at the Indianapolis Museum of Art https://indyfilmfest.org/festival/14-2017
• The Indianapolis Greek Festival http://indygreekfest.org
• Symphony on the Prairie https://www.indianapolissymphony.org/symphony-on-the-prairie
• The Indianapolis Indians http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t484
• The Indianapolis Zoo http://indianapoliszoo.com
• The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis https://www.childrensmuseum.org


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Author of this article

Debra Balos, DO, specializes in family medicine. She is a guest columnist and located at IU Health Physicians Family Medicine – Zionsville, 1650 W. Oak Street, Suite 110, in Zionsville. She can be reached by calling the office at 317.777.6400.

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