photo by Mark Stosberg via Unsplash

Lifelong Sports: Being & Staying Active as a Family

March 2017

by rebecca stewart

There are some sports that are just too hard on a body to be considered a “lifelong sport.” But then there are those lovelies that a person could theoretically do all their lives, hence the “lifelong” part of the equation. Whether you consider yourself to be athletic or not, it’s still important to be active, and what better motivation to be active than to do it as a family? Showing the kids that being active is important is building a solid foundation for making it a priority the rest of their lives. What a gift that is!

One of the bonuses to adding these types of activities to your family’s repertoire is that they are things that could possibly be done with ALL the generations of your family (as long as it’s doctor approved). Though the schedules don’t work out as often as they’d all like, my dad loves taking his grandkids golfing. So what are some of those activities or sports that families can do together?

Before we explore our list, let’s dig a little deeper into what makes a sport or activity fall under the category of a lifelong or lifetime sport. In addition to being less strenuous as mentioned above, LIVESTRONG.com adds that another aspect of lifetime sports is that, “You can continue to develop mastery and skill as you get older, with wisdom and experience helping to make up for reduced reflexes and physical abilities.” See? Perfect for the whole family. With that in mind, the following list is certainly not comprehensive, but can definitely get the family started!

10 Lifelong Sports & Activities for the Whole Family

  • Tennis – Can be played as either a singles or doubles game. Billings has tennis courts located in several parks.
  • Badminton – Like tennis, can be played as either a singles or a doubles game and has the added bonus of easy set up in the backyard.
  • Golf – There are both public and private courses in and around Billings.
  • Bowling – Whether it’s a regular outing or a joining of leagues, always a fun option for all ages.
  • Swimming – Is about as low-impact as it gets and many facilities offer water aerobics (in fact the parks’ pools often run classes during the summer). Moreover, kids rarely need an invitation to hop in the pool!
  • Yoga – Whether you take a class somewhere, buy a DVD, or follow along on YouTube, yoga has a myriad of health benefits.
  • Fly Fishing – Maybe grandpa can teach the family the ways of fly fishing, if not, look for classes popping up on Billings Parks & Rec’s schedule.
  • Walking – No equipment required, besides a good pair of tennis/running shoes and this is an activity that can become an after-dinner tradition for the whole family.
  • Bicycling – Billings is fortunate to have a system of trails winding through the city; don’t forget the helmets!
  • Cross Country Skiing – Offers the opportunity to embrace our Montana winters and explore what our backyard has to offer with a low-impact, aerobic form of exercise.

Non-Traditional Lifelong Activities:

  • Wiffle Ball Games – This is a family favorite and something you can do in the backyard. The littles can run the bases for grandma and grandpa.
  • P-I-G – Or other low-impact basketball games. You’re still out and moving without the hustle and bustle of 1-on-1 or full court ball.
  • Wii Sports – As long as sitting on the couch isn’t allowed, this is a great activity – we love making tournaments out of the various options.

Originally printed in the March 2017 issue of Simply Family Magazine

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