Instead of hitting the gym, get moving with your family

 Katy Hartman holds onto her mother, Lara's hand, as the duo fly a kite on the hill last year next to the Markets at Shrewsbury (Photo by Jason Plotkin).

Katy Hartman holds onto her mother, Lara’s hand, as the duo fly a kite on the hill last year next to the Markets at Shrewsbury (Photo by Jason Plotkin).

On those 60- or even 70-degree days when you just don’t feel like exercising indoors — don’t.

Instead of hitting the gym, spend an hour or just 30 minutes working out with the family.

If you want to make sure you’re burning enough calories, personal trainer Steven Behan recommends the talk test. Behan, who owns Psy Fit Personal Training in York Township, said if you can sing a song, you’re not working out hard enough.

If you can only say a word or two, it’s time to slow down.

“Usually the problem is not working out hard enough,” Behan said. He recommends upping the intensity level by incorporating running into each activity or calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups.

Start limbering up with these ideas from Behan and Nathan Lankford, wellness director at the southern branch of the York County YMCA.

Take a hike

Lankford and his wife enjoy hiking at county parks with their baby daughter.

“A lot of people have never even been to (York County parks) and they’re right in your backyard,” he said.

Behan, his wife and their two children, ages 9 and 11, hike at the parks, too.

The nice part of York County parks, Behan said, is that you can check the website to see the trails ahead of time and gauge whether the intensity level is right for the family.

Parks with family-appropriate — 1.5-mile or shorter — trails include Rocky Ridge in Springettsbury Township, William H. Kain in Springfield and York townships, Richard M. Nixon in Springfield Township, Highpoint Scenic Vista & Recreation Area in Lower Windsor Township and P. Joseph Raab in North Codorus Township.

Fly a kite

Find that kite you purchased at the beach last year and stashed in the garage. You don’t have to be on the shore to launch those bright colors into the sky. Any open area will do. Find plenty of space at Codorus State Park near Hanover and Gifford Pinchot State Park in Warrington Township.

Play disc golf

Behan said besides hiking, his family’s other favorite outdoor activity is disc golf. To up the intensity level of the activity, try running between stations. Find disc golf courses at Codorus State Park and Gifford Pinchot State Park.

Grow a garden

Reap benefits all summer by starting a garden. While you might not get a high-intensity workout, the family will still be moving while planting, weeding and
harvesting. Not sure how to get started?

Try visiting Stauffers of Kissel Hill at 4450 Lincoln Highway in Hellam Township or 3949 Carlisle Road in Dover Township. You can also find helpful garden information at The Original Christmas Tree Hill, 2801 S. George St. in York Township.

Run a race

A 5K or another race — longer or shorter — can be a fun goal for a family with older children or young ones in a jogging stroller.

Consider an upcoming area run; some popular races include:

8K Perrydell Farms, first in Leg Up Farm Cross Country Series. 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22. Perrydell Farm Store, 90 Indian Rock Dam Road, York Township. Every finisher will receive a bottle of chocolate milk. $22 registration before March 7; $25 after.

Brown’s Orchard 5K, second in Leg Up Farm Cross Country Series. 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5. Brown’s Orchard, 8892 Susquehanna Trail South, Loganville.

Find more local races on No Sweat, York.

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    Flip through the March/April 2014 e-zine

Jess Krout

Multiplatform features copy editor at York Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow me on Twitter @JessKrout. Email jkrout@ydr.com or call 717-771-2002.

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