Regular physical activity helps build healthy bones, improves strength and endurance, promotes healthy weight and helps kids feel good about themselves.
- Lead by example.Your kids like to do what you do. Be physically active yourself and display a positive attitude.
- Make physical activity part of family fun. Everyone benefits from physical activity and spending time together. Turn on some music and dance, play badminton or volleyball or hike at your local park.
- Let your child choose. Every child has unique preferences and physical abilities. When you encourage your children to do what they like, you set a pattern of enjoying physical activity for life. All types of physical activity count, including walking or biking to a friend’s house or playing active games like tag and hopscotch.
- Let them be helpers at home. Assign kids active household jobs such as walking the dog, sweeping, vacuuming, raking leaves or pulling weeds.
- Give the gift of fitness. For birthdays and holidays, give gifts that inspire physical activity such as a basketball, in-line skates or athletic shoes. Celebrate spring by tucking a jump rope or kite into each Easter or May Day basket. For Halloween, give a pedometer to track steps taken while trick-or-treating.
- Plan active vacations. On your getaways, hike in the mountains, play on a water slide or explore a national park. Or walk through a museum or zoo during the day and enjoy a refreshing swim in the evening.
- Subtract screen time. Limit television or computer time to an hour or two a day and offer suggestions for fun physical activity.
- Look to the community. Check out your local park district, community recreation center, YMCA or Boys & Girls Club to find classes, leagues and facilities geared for kids.