Warmer weather and longer days mean more time for relaxing at backyard parties with our friends and family. We have access to a variety of fresh delicious produce, and are drawn outside to enjoy the sunshine — a great combination to encourage healthy living.

Take full advantage of summer’s opportunities by scheduling a weekly family fun day. The only rules are that each member takes a turn choosing a favorite healthy activity to do together and a healthy recipe to prepare and eat together. This month’s DIY Health tips will give you some ideas!

For extra incentive, remember that building healthy habits as a family can support positive behaviors that last a lifetime. The best way to get kids to try something new and healthy is to live by example!

Make Exercise a Family Affair

There is no rule saying you have to exercise alone. In fact, whether with your family, a group of friends, or a dependable workout buddy, adding a social aspect to exercise can make it more enjoyable and help reinforce your commitment. So check out our Move for Health handout, watch the video below, and then share these five exercises together!

Medicine Ball Slams and Burpees

Lateral Shuffle Ball Toss

Plank Runs

Circle Game

Group Warm Up and Cool Down

Don’t Let the Weather Be the Boss of You

Hot, humid or a chance of lightning? Just because it’s summer, that doesn’t mean you must be outside! And of course there is such a thing as too much of that enjoyable sunshine. So find some indoor activities that you and your family can enjoy together too. For example, try a beginner fitness class, group yoga, or indoor swimming. These activities can also help change up routines and challenge different muscle groups.

The Family That Plays Together Stays Healthy Together

Don’t underestimate the value of fun in keeping your family healthy and happy. Satisfy the kid inside all of us and have a throwback party. Play kickball or tag, toss a Frisbee, or reclaim another activity from the when-I-was-a-kid pile. Kids’ games from the pre-digital era tend to burn lots of calories and, when adults participate, they can also promote family bonding. For a few more ideas, check out the Old-Fashioned Backyard Games section of our June DIY Health post!

Summer Treats That Treat Your Body Well

Let’s make something together as a family that’s fun and tasty! Let’s make something together as a family that’s healthy! This is not an either/or decision — you can do both! In fact, this month’s Eat for Health recipes and grocery list give you five fun and healthy summer recipes to prepare and enjoy together.

Choco-Nut Banana Nice Cream (adapted from Eatright.org)

Grilled Cheesy Corn (adapted from EatingWell.com)

Grilled Summer Fruit Skewers (adapted from Eatright.org)

Melon Cucumber Cooler (adapted from Eatright.org)

Red, White and Blue Fresca (adapted from Eatright.org)

H2O: It’s Not Just for Swimming

We include a hydration tip in many of our DIY Health posts…because it’s really important. That’s even more true during the summer months, when heat, sun, fun and other factors can increase the risk of dehydration. Don’t forget to hydrate well all day long — and make sure the kids are staying hydrated. Need an alternate to “just plain water”? Consider guilt-free thirst-quenching drinks such as unsweetened herbal iced tea, sparkling water, or water infused with mint, cucumbers or fruit slices.