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Family riding bikes
Photo: Getty Images.

Can I Keep My Family Active Without Scheduling It?

Three experts offer their advice.

How do you incorporate more exercise into daily life without it feeling like a chore? A camp organizer, walking/hiking advocate, and youth sports program owner weigh in.

The youth sports program owner says…

“When the pandemic began, we shifted from in-person to virtual classes. We developed sports without equipment, such as playing baseball using wrapping paper rolls for bats, rolled up socks for balls, plain white paper for bases, and empty plastic cups instead of cones (to practice aiming for a target with the ball). Figuring out how to make their own equipment allows kids to channel inner creativity and practice problem-solving skills.
Kids are hardwired to learn through play. If they’re having fun, they’re more likely to continue. If parents are willing to go outside and play with their kids, it’s easier for kids to want to play too. Then, it’s just hanging out and there’s no pressure for it to be work.”

—Tori Makela, franchise owner, Skyhawks-SuperTots Sports Colorado

The urban walking/hiking advocate says…

“Taking kids out on a trail or into a park is a natural way for them to move without even thinking about it. By pointing out bugs on the ground, rocks within view, or clouds in the sky, kids love moving around to see what they can discover.

Don’t expect younger children to walk the entire block or hike the whole trail, depending on their age. Be prepared for them to get in and out of their respective carriers.

The best place to walk with kids in Denver is along the Platte River; stop at Grant-Frontier Park, Pasquinel’s Landing, and Johnson-Habitat parks. The South Valley Trail is great for older kids.”

—Chris Englert, head motivator, and

The summer bike camp organizer says…

“Cycling is a great excuse to get out of the house and spend quality time as a family. You can get fresh air, explore, and it’s something you don’t need to drive to, nor spend a lot of money to enjoy.

Go around the neighborhood. Find a local trail that’s suitable for all levels. Bike to a nearby park, local ice cream shop or bakery, where you can have a treat at the destination. Remember to wear a properly fitting helmet and reflective gear in the dark, and bring a water bottle.”

—Mike Chan, marketing manager, Pedalheads

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