Family Fun on the Run Newsletter

Family Being Active

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Family Fun on the Run is a monthly newsletter designed to help families add physical activity to their already hectic schedules.

Inspire January Joy

January is a fresh start with a new calendar year! How can you shift your focus to find happiness in your day? How can you inspire joy in those around you this month? What little things can help bring cheer and delight to you, your children and family?

Keep Your Family Active During the Winter Months

Staying physically active year-round is important. During the winter months, the weather can present challenges when trying to be active. Here are some tips to help continue your family’s active lifestyle, even when the weather is less than ideal.

Take a Hike Day

November 17th is Take a Hike Day! Hiking can be defined as walking from a lower to higher elevation, usually by way of outdoor trails or paths. Nebraska's varied terrain offers infinite hiking opportunities for families.

Fall Family Frolics

It's autumn! Fall for a family frolic outdoors before cold weather tempts you to stay inside. Crisp cooler days are great for donning a sweater, and then increasing your heart rate to encourage you to slip off that sweater again. This newsletter has ten ideas for a fall family frolic.

Shoot for Three

Although mornings can be busy, making time for breakfast is important, especially for children and teens. Eating within 1-2 hours of getting up in the morning helps to break-the-fast from the night before, and sets children and teens up for success throughout the day.

Progressive Picnic in the Park

Let's do a progressive picnic at the park! Progressive picnic? At the park? With kids? What is a progressive picnic? This is a type of scavenger hunt to enjoy your picnic meal. It is also a great way to get to know parks in the area while being active outdoors.

Fueling Your Young Athlete

Summer is here, and your young athlete is likely showing no signs of slowing down. While their natural inclination for physical activity is a slam dunk for long-term health, the potential lack of structure brought on by summer means parents and caregivers will want to stay tuned-in to how their children are fueling their bodies.

Try These Physical Activity Resources to Get All Ages Up and Moving!

According to the recently-updated second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, all members of the family, including preschool-age children, experience health benefits from moving more.

Crunched for Time? Physical Activity is Possible!

You don’t need an hour—or even 30 minutes—to get a complete, effective workout. We can always find a few free minutes in our day. Short workouts can do wonders to both the body and mind.

Nutty Snacks

Nuts are a tasty snack that can give your diet a nutritional boost.  Along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, nuts contain beneficial unsaturated fats, protein, and fiber.

Being Present

Planning purposeful time with family and friends may help you slow down and appreciate those around you. Give thanks for unique gifts everyone brings to make your family special. It is easy to feel you are always on the run to ball games, a concert or holiday gathering. Follow these tips to find time to enjoy the month, your family, and friends.

October: Fun Fall Activities for Families

The leaves are changing and the air is crisp. Autumn will go by as fast as the leaves fall from the trees, so be sure to take advantage of family time in the fall! This newsletter some ways you can enjoy time together under blue skies and fall foliage.

August: How to Get Your Kids Moving!

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that children ages 6-17 should be getting at least 60 minutes or 1 hour of physical activity each day. Dedicating only 5% of their day to staying physically active may sound like a small feat, but with the appeal of movies, video games, and social media, it is becoming more and more challenging to get our children excited about physical activity. Here are some tips and tricks to get your children away from a screen and moving.

July: Go Fish! Planning a Safe Family Fishing Adventure

Fishing is a popular form of outdoor recreation this time of year. Fishing with your kids can offer benefits to both mental and physical health, while strengthening family connection and teaching life skills. Just be sure that water safety precautions are in place and children are supervised at all times.

May: Running with Your Kids

Running with your family can foster a passion for exercise for both you and your children. This newsletter shares some tips to ensure your children have a fun, safe and rewarding time exercising with you. Running with family is a fun way for children to get the minimum 60 minutes of physical activity they need each day. “It only takes a moment to encourage your child to go on a run with you and might develop into a lifelong passion.”

April: Cool Down

While being physically active, your heart is beating faster than usual, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated. A cool down period helps your body transition back to normal. Begin to slow down your movements gradually. You can start cooling down by changing to a less vigorous activity, such as moving from jogging to walking. Stopping abruptly may cause dizziness. Cooling down helps reduce muscle soreness and improve relaxation.

March: Celebrate Spring!

With March comes St. Patrick's Day and the first hints of spring, which means a lot of green, and maybe even a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This spring, challenge yourself and your family to increase your activity and fruit and vegetable consumption.

February: Heart Smart Fun

Looking for a way to say "I love you" to your kids or grandkids this Valentine's Day? How about a way that's better than candy, and improves their grumpy winter doldrums? Get the kids off the couch and do something active that's good for your heart and theirs. Kids are always hungry for attention, so play! If it’s too cold to go outside sledding, skiing, skating, snow shoeing or looking for animal tracks in the snow, get off the couch and do some heart smart activities inside.

January: Do As I Say, AND as I a Family

As parents we have all heard or even said the famous saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” In reality, we know that modeling the behaviors we want is the key to getting those behaviors to show up in our kids. Turns out, words are important, too.

November: Keep Your Holidays Healthy

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and enjoy each other - not suffer from food poisoning! Check out this month's newsletter for few tips to keep your family healthy.

October: What's Popping?

Popcorn is one of America's favorite snacks. Popcorn comes in a few different colors, including red, blue, yellow, and white. It is a whole grain, which means it contains the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also known as the hull) and it is low in calories. It also can be flavored with different herbs and spices to fit your taste, or mixed with dried fruit, nuts and cereal for a quick trail mix. Check out this month's newsletter for more!

September: Bike!

Ahh! The breeze in your face and quality time with your family! Children love to spend time with their parents, grandparents or adults in their lives. Autumn is a great time for bike riding with your kids. The advantages of biking include increased energy, improved health, family bonding, and a way to "tire out" kids before bed time. This newsletter shares a few tips for fun, family bike rides!

August: Breakfast - Don't Leave Home without it!

Are you ready to get back into the swing of the school year? Many families are on the go and schedules are hectic, but it is important to remember breakfast. When possible, do not leave home without it (whether you eat it quick at home, or take it with you for a little later in the morning).

June: Fast Food on the Run

It's summer ball season! That means warm summer nights under the lights, washing dusty uniforms and perhaps, a few too many hurried meals. The tips in this month's newsletter will help you prepare for the game so you can make the first pitch! H

May: Summer Shines on Busy Schedules

Summertime often means lots of time to play and fun with families but it can also be a time where you are so on-the-go that there is not enough time for needed exercise. Check out this newsletter for great tips to keep the family moving all summer!

April: Fun Family Warm-Up Activity

A warm-up is a session which takes place prior to doing physical activity. Extension Educator Ann Fenton shares some info on warming up and some ideas for your family to get moving in this Family Fun on the Run Newsletter.

February: DIY FitBall - A Fun Fitness Activity

Families who are active together, get healthy together. Children need 60 minutes of physical activity per day while adults should aim for 150 minutes per week. The most important thing to remember is to make physical activity fun! To help get everyone moving and sitting less, play this fun fitness activity, called FitBall. It is easy to play since it is similar to the hot potato game and uses little equipment. All ages will enjoy playing this fitness activity!

December: Gifts that Help Families Be Active

What gift do most kids have on their wish list for the holidays or an upcoming birthday? Probably some type of technology - from smartphones to tablets, to the latest video game. Before purchasing a that gift promotes more time in front of a screen, consider some options that can help kids and families stay active throughout the year.

Follow UNL Food and Fitness

Archived Newsletters

Shoot for Three

Progressive Picnic in the Park

Fueling Your Young Athlete

April 2019: Try These Physical Activity Resources to Get All Ages Up and Moving

March 2019: Crunched for Time? Physical Activity is Possible

February 2019: Nutty Snacks

November 2018: Being Present

October 2018: Fun Fall Activities for Families

August 2018: How to Get Your Kids Moving!

July 2018: Go Fish! Planning a Safe Family Fishing Adventure

May 2018: Running with Your Kids

April 2018: Cool Down

March 2018: Celebrate Spring

February 2018: Heart Smart Fun

January 2018: Do as I Say, AND as I Do…as a Family

November 2017: Keep Your Holidays Healthy

October 2017: What's Popping?

September 2017: Bike!

August 2017: Breakfast - Don't Leave Home without It!

June 2017: Fast Food on the Run

May 2017: Summer Shines on Busy Schedules

April 2017: A Fun Family Warm-Up Activity

February 2017: DIY Fitball - A Fun Fitness Activity

December 2016: Gifts to Help Families Be Active

September 2016: Food Safety for Spooky Fall Celebrations

August 2016: 5 Ways to Fall Back into Good Nutrition

July 2016: Are Protein Bars a Healthy Choice for On-the-Go Kids?

May 2016: Gardening with Kids

April 2016: Kite Flying Fun

March 2016: Indoor Fitness Activities

January 2016: Oatmeal - Whole Grain Goodness

December 2015: Be an Active Family during the Holidays

November 2015: Thankful for Health

October 2015: Be Active this Fall, 5 Family-Friendly Ways

September 2015: Wanting to go that Extra Mile?

May 2015: Engaging Children in Walking and Hiking

April 2015: Starting Walking

February 2015: Love Walking

January 2015: Make 2015 a Healthy New Year

December 2014: Walking - A Gift to Yourself

November 2014: Adding Music to Workout Routines

October 2014: Safety Tips for Walking 

September 2014: Think Outside the Cubicle

September 2014: Walking is a Man's Best Medicine

July 2014: Beat the Heat

June 2014: Up with Walking, Down with Blood Pressure

May 2014: "Appy" Feet

April 2014: Spring Into Fitness

March 2014: Furry Friend Fitness

February 2014: Walking Indoors

January 2014: New Year, New You!

December 2013: Walking at Work

November 2013: Finding Time for Fitness over the Holidays

October 2013: Increase Your "NEAT" at Work

September 2013: Where to Walk is Just as Important as When to Walk

August 2013: Fueling Your Walk with Foods from the Farmers Market

July 2013: Tips for Physical Activity during Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

June 2013: Choose Healthy Fat

April 2013: Tai Chi Walk

March 2013: Jiggle Your Wiggle

February 2013: Exercise: An Immunity Boost

January 2013: Wear Layers Being Active Outdoors

December 2012:  Exploring Physical Activity Myths

October 2012: Wellness at Work

September 2012: Exercise and Older Adults

August 2012: Distance Walking - Is it for you?

July 2012: Keeping Walking Fun

June 2012: Eating for Energy

May 2012: Don't Resist Strength Training

April 2012: Prevent Spring Sprains and Pains


Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages.

Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults need 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day. Here are a few tips to add activity to your family's busy schedule.

  • Set specific activity times: Determine time slots throughout the week when the whole family is available. Try doing something active after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.
  • Turn off the TV: Set a rule that no one can spend longer than 2 hours per day playing video games, watching TV, and using the computer.
  • Plan for all weather conditions: Choose some activities that do not depend on the weather conditions. Try mall walking, indoor swimming, or active video games.

Source: Be An Active Family from USDA's ChooseMyPlate.