Gift and game ideas for a healthier 2021

2020 has shown us that almost anything can be achieved from the comfort of your own home: working, shopping, catching up with friends and family, and even virtually attending social gatherings!

Although spending more time at home is convenient, some of us may be missing out on important physical activity we would normally do, such as walking around the shops or lifting shopping bags.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Population Health deputy director Christine Newman encourages families to set the tone for a healthier 2021 by getting active during the year-end break and opting for “healthier” presents for your loved ones.

“The healthy habits we’ve developed throughout the year can easily become lost in a few short weeks over Christmas. But this doesn’t have to be the case,” Christine said.

“With friends and family at home, the festive season is a great opportunity for everyone to get outside and enjoy some fun physical activities. Going for walks, bike riding, swimming and backyard ball games can all be memorable sources of entertainment too.”

Here are a few healthier gift ideas and experiences for the festive season.

  • Outdoor sports

Have a look in your garage. Do you have a bike, roller skates or even a trampoline gathering dust? Get it out and have some fun together. Why not make it a family activity for a weekend? 

For riding and skating, remember your helmet and knee/wrist guards to avoid injuries. Plan ahead and avoid any physical activities during the hottest hours of the day.

  • Team sports

Team sports are a great way to stay active and get social. A badminton set, frisbee or handball accessories will help your favourite group of people to get competitive and have fun together.

  • Active games

Crazy catch, totem tennis, and kicking a ball around at the park are things the whole family can take part in.

  • Water activities

Some are lucky enough to have a pool at home, but we can all enjoy public pools, rivers and beaches. Snorkelling, paddle boarding and pool volleyball are great ways to enjoy water activity. Be aware of the risks with water activities and keep water safe!

  • Bush waking and hiking

For camping and hiking enthusiasts, a 12-month pass to all NSW national parks can be the gift they’d be thrilled to receive. Visit the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website to learn more. Or simply enjoy the Western Sydney parklands for free with friends and family.

  • Adventure time

It’s always refreshing to try something new. Gifting someone a surfing or kayaking lesson, or a trial class for a fitness activity might be the start of a new hobby!

If you are looking for a low-cost option, host a family scavenger hunt. Try going to a large park and make a list of things that each team needs to collect. You can get creative and come up with a few riddles or clues for each team. You can have a picnic together after completing the race.

  • Start tracking your activity

Keeping track of your activity levels will give you a better insight into your daily routine and motivate you to stay active. Find an activity tracking app in your phone and invite your friends and family to share results with each other. A little friendly competition can be a great motivator!