Keeping Teens Active During the Summer

It’s a tough job for parents to keep teens active when they’re not in school, or even get them out of bed before three in the afternoon. Here are some ways to keep your kids moving this summer, before their eyes glaze over and they become one with the couch.

Biking

This is a great activity for teens or you can make it a family affair. Local parks like Forest Park and Juniper Valley Park have bike trails going all around and through them. But for a cool twist, check out the 4th annual Tour de Queens. A twenty mile bike ride, not a race, around Queens, this is a great way to see different neighborhoods while exercising with family or friends. This year, the bike tour will be held on Sunday, July 10th. Check in begins at 8am in Flushing Meadows Park next to the Queens Museum of Art. Helmets are required for kids 14 and under and generally are a good idea for everyone riding. Registration opens in June, and is limited to the first 2000 cyclists. The registration fee is $5 for Transportation Alternative members and $10 for non members. For more information visit www.tourdequeens.org.

Hiking

Hiking with some friends is a great way for kids to keep active this summer, and there are quite a few hiking trails to pick from around Queens. Alley Pond Park, Cunningham Park, and Forest Park all have a variety of trails. Also, they can walk around Fort Totten along the water’s edge.

Swimming

There is nothing as refreshing as going for a swim on a hot summer’s day. Aside from the city’s public pools, your teen can join a swim team, like the one at Flushing Meadows Park Pool and Rink. Kids between the ages of 6-18 who can swim about 50 yards can try out. For more information, call Citywide Aquatics 718-760-6969

Running

Setting up a schedule for running or jogging may seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. Enter: the Couch to 5k Running Plan. Designed for beginners, the program will help you go from being a couch potato to running three miles in just two months, the same amount of time for summer vacation. Not only will your teen be healthier, they’ll also have added discipline. For more information visit www.coolrunning.com

The New York City Parks and Recreation Department has started the BeFitNYC program, encouraging New Yorkers to get fit and healthy. They are offering classes and teams to join, in addition to places to go on all of the topics listed here and more. For more information visit www.nycgovparks.org/befitnyc.

Jesseca Stenson