Healthy Family Challenge Fitness Plan: Week 3

Get your family excited about healthy active living with this weekly Healthy Family Challenge!

By Today's Parent
family hiking main iStockphoto

This week, the general activity goal is to try to get out three times and focus on riding. This can be done with a bike, a scooter, a skateboard or anything else you think will work. It might mean that, as a parent, you'll be running along beside your kids. This can also be done to and from daycare or school. Don't forget the helmets!

Day 21: Urban Adventure

Equipment: Snacks, water and possibly lunch. If you have young kids, you may need a stroller or wagon.

How to Play: Plan to be out exploring together for a few hours. You may decide that you want to do this in a natural setting, by walking through parks and along trails, or go urban strolling through galleries or museums. You may need to drive and park to get a bit closer to the place you want to explore. Plan to stop for lunch, or, even better, have a picnic outside.

If you have older kids, you may want to look into geocaching — it‘s an exciting way for young people to explore and track through an urban adventure, and sometimes you find prizes hidden at the geocache locale. The key to enjoying this day is to be relaxed, bring some cash along in case you need to stop for a rest or a drink, and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Day 22: Games That Involve Striking an Object


Equipment: Dependent on your choice of activity

How to Play: The skill required to strike an object with an implement is useful in a wide variety of sports. Today, choose a game that involves striking—this could be a variation of tennis, baseball, hockey or even golf. Don’t worry about the rules of the game. Grab some equipment and head to the park. With younger kids, you can probably do this in your backyard.

Day 23: Jumping and Landing

Equipment: None

How to Play: Jumping and landing are essential skills, and when learned properly they can help prevent injury. The first thing to work on is simply jumping up in the air and landing on two feet with knees straight over toes. Once you and your kids have mastered this, come up with a family game. It could be as simple as a walk through the neighborhood where you try to jump up to touch something, jump off a low height or jump even over something (such as the lines in the sidewalk). If you want to stay close to home, pull out some sidewalk chalk and try hopscotch!


Day 24: Throwing at a Target

Equipment: Smaller balls that are easy to throw, snowballs or even small stones

How to Play: This is an incredibly versatile game that can be played anywhere. The best location is in a park or on a trail, where you have wide open space. The first person to start picks a target to throw to, like a tree, a post or a big rock. Everyone then tries to hit the target, taking turns. The first person to hit the target gets a point. The next in line then chooses a target, and you repeat the game, changing the order. Whoever picks the target throws first.

Day 25: Outdoor Obstacle Course — Advanced

Equipment: Things that you already have in your backyard or outdoor play gear, strollers, wagons — whatever you have on hand that you can carry.


How to Play: Build on the course that you created the previous week. Discuss what you remember from last week’s obstacle course with your kids, and ask them for ideas about how to make it even more challenging. If using a nearby park, incorporate playground structures, benches or big rocks and tree stumps.

Day 26: The Great Climb

Equipment: None

How to Play: Before starting, chat with your kids about any large hills they know of that you could climb together—it could be a trail with a significant elevation for older kids, or simply a hill in a park for littler ones. Today, you will go to this location and “conquer the hill.” If it's a smaller incline, you can set a goal of how many times you would like to get up and down the hill.  If you live in a more urban environment, a long staircase could provide a similar experience. Kids will get a great sense of pride by reaching their goal, and a large hill provides a perfect visual example of your accomplishment.

Day 27: Family Picnic with Games


Equipment:  Pack a healthy picnic and some toys or balls to play games

How to Play: Find a fun location to have a family picnic. Head out for a picnic lunch or dinner with time to play games, or go exploring afterward.


This article was originally published on Dec 29, 2014

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