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5 Summer Activities For The Whole Family

Stay fit and find fun in the sun this summer

A family of four enjoy a walk on a summer day.

Stay fit and find fun in the sun this summer

School’s out and summer’s in full gear in San Diego. Although the weather doesn’t change all that much, summer vacation and longer days mean more time to spend with your family.


But don’t spend the summer just lounging around. There are fun and inexpensive ways to incorporate physical activity into your routine, and staying fit as a family doesn’t have to be strenuous or require a lot of equipment.


“Any activity that you’re literally moving your body for is recommended,” says David Hawkins, DO, a family medicine doctor at Scripps Clinic Santee. He suggests these five easy exercises that are perfect for the whole family. So get outside and get moving!  

1. Bike

Take your family on a bike ride. Something as easy as riding up and down the boardwalk can help you stay fit. 

2. Swim

Kids who know how to swim and adults of all ages can benefit from this easy-on-the-joints workout. If you’re accident-prone, it’s harder to hurt yourself in the pool.

3. Throw

Play games with a ball or Frisbee. “Just get out there and do something you enjoy doing,” Dr. Hawkins says.

4. Walk

Head to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo or one of our many beaches, and just walk. “You don’t have to put your workout clothes on and go do a full-on workout,” Dr. Hawkins says. “You can put your regular clothes on and go on a walk.” 

5. Hike

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a great all-ages hike. Dr. Hawkins says it’s “much more of a walk than a hike, but it’s an awesome hike.” You can’t beat the views!

Safe summer surfing tips

If you surf, here are some tips for riding the waves worry-free:

Do the stingray shuffle

Shuffling your feet from the moment you enter the water alerts the camouflaged fish of your presence, thereby warding off painful stings.

Wear sunscreen

Zinc-based ones provide a strong natural barrier against the summer sun, and thicker varieties will stay put even after numerous wipeouts.

Swim to build strength

Swimming strengthens surfing-injury-prone areas, like the neck, upper back and the rotator cuffs, says John Dawkins, MD, a Scripps Clinic Del Mar family and sports medicine doctor and an avid surfer.  

Know when to say no

If the waves look dangerous or above your ability level, find another way to get some exercise and take in the summer weather. There’s always another surf break and another day to shred.

San Diego city leader Kris Michell is featured on the cover of the June 2018 issue of San Diego Health Magazine.

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.