Combining exercise with family activities has many benefits, and not just to our waistlines and fitness levels. Active kids eat better, sleep better and think better and so do active parents – so get out there and make some summer fun a priority these holidays.

Gone are the days where Mum waved the kids off at the front porch with the instructions to return only if bleeding or when it got dark.

While those days of unlimited freedom are behind us, the experiences we had as kids should not be beyond the reach of the next generation. It just takes a bit of planning – the need for supervision these days just means we get to leave behind our grown up mode and re-experience the fun of being a kid for a second time around.

This is a better deal than my Mum got, she was left at home with the wringer washing machine!

Good old-fashioned outdoor fun has some stiff competition from the countless indoor entertainment opportunities available. The holidays are a great time to teach our kids that there was life before games consoles, big screen TVs and texting. There are weeks to fill, the sun is shining and post-Christmas our lives slow down just enough for us to feel relaxed enough to take the extra time out, investing more time in ourselves, our kids and our family unit.

  • If you are a car-free whanau or just don’t want to make a whole day of your off road adventure, then don’t forget what’s within walking distance of your back door.


  • A great way of getting out and about without spending any money is to turn a walk about the local area into an adventure. You can still pack the picnic; in most areas in NZ the bush is just a hop, skip and a jump away. You’ll save travel time and the comforts of home are just around the corner.


  • There are few families that can claim to be the size of a rugby team in this day and age but that’s no reason to miss out on a family sized sports game– who cares if there are only 1 or 2 on each side, you just increase your chances of getting a try!


  • Summer is the perfect time to get out that old 10 speed you’ve had sitting in the garage gathering dust for an age and show the kids what you’re made of.


  • If you have younger kids on bikes who aren’t yet ready for the streets then why not steal their push scooter for a blast around the park or local school? You’ll be able to pop off more easily to attend to any tumbles and the kids will think you’re cool (or funny!)

There’s no reason the lazy days of summer need to be lazy at all, some family focused outdoor activities will mean you still get to pull back from life in the fast lane.

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Julz Darroch provides education and resources for those who want to get fit and introduce exercise into their lives but aren’t sure where to start- the exercise allergic are her speciality! Julz is also mum to two great kids who help keep her moving. You can find out more on her website.

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