Get Moving!

10 Ways to Get Your Kids Exercising

by Deanna Mingo

With television, computers and videos games everywhere, you might find it challenging to get today’s kids excited about exercising. Set an example for your children and make regular exercise a family affair. Children need to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Here are some fun ways to get your kids pumped up about physical fitness:

Take a walk

Catch up on your child’s day by taking a walk together around the block or on a nature trail. Don’t want to stray too far? You can walk around your yard or house a couple of times or hit the stairs in your house, up and down 5-10 times. If you really want to go the distance, plan a hiking adventure. Kids can learn about nature and explore the scenery while getting physically fit.

Join a sports team or class

Kids will get motivated to exercise and make new friends by having a chance to be active with others. Visit your local community or recreation center and check out what sports are available. Any sport will do. There are plenty of activities appropriate for little ones, from soccer and hockey to gymnastics and martial arts; you’re sure to find one that interests your child.

Plan an active outing

Take your family fitness fun on the road with a trip to the zoo or a local park. You can visit your favorite place or explore a new one. Kids will have fun walking around and seeing the sights at these local attractions while getting in shape.

Cleaning the house

Kids who aren’t into sports or the outdoors can still feel the burn by helping mom keep the house spick and span. Assign active chores such as making the beds, washing the car or vacuuming. Make a game of it by seeing who can do the most housework the fastest.

Ride a bike

Organize a family bike ride through your neighborhood or a nearby park. Make the ride a little more interesting by racing to see who can reach a spot first.

Hit the playground

Your local play area is the perfect place for kids to burn extra energy and get some exercise at the same time. Children can climb on a jungle gym, play jump rope or hopscotch, or just run around.

Do a community service project

Community groups have tons of volunteer opportunities for families that are also great ways to get active. Pick up litter on a nearby road, clean up a local park, or help spruce up your own yard by raking leaves, mowing the lawn or planting flowers.

Go for a swim

Swimming can be a fun year-round activity for the whole family to enjoy. Head out to your neighborhood water spot (many community centers have indoor pools) and race in the lap pool or play a game of water volleyball.

Play active games

Look no farther than your own backyard for fun ways to get your kids moving. Spend an afternoon outside playing your child’s favorite games. Whether it’s tag or hide-and-seek, baseball or just jumping rope, active games are a great way to squeeze fitness into your daily routine.

Have a dance party

Put on some upbeat tunes and move to the music with your kids. Add to the fun by tossing a ball around, or stop the music and freeze, then start all over again.