Published on October 11, 2016

5 ways to get your kids moving

5 ways to get your kids to move more

Physical activity is important for children and adults alike. These tips can get your kids moving.

It's never too early to teach kids that exercise is good for you. Physical activity increases life expectancy, decreases risk of heart disease and helps control weight.

Children age 6 and older should get at least an hour of physical activity each day, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Most of this activity should be made up of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Kids should also get in some muscle- and bone-strengthening activity at least 3 days a week.

Getting your kids more active doesn't mean they have to be involved in organized sports. There are plenty of ways to get kids moving, no matter what their age or interests. The key is to find activities that your child likes. Make things enjoyable and they're more likely to look forward to moving. Exercise together to show your kids that physical activity is a priority for everyone and can be fun. The best role model for your kids is you. If you make healthy lifestyle choices, it's more likely they'll follow in your footsteps.

Here are 5 easy ways to get the kids (and you!) moving more:

  1. Play more. Exercise doesn't have to be structured and should not be something to be dreaded, especially for kids. Moving more should be all about playing more. Fly a kite, go on a scavenger hunt, run through a sprinkler or play a game of wiffle ball.
  2. Find activities that fit your child's interests. If your child loves to dance, turn on some music and have a dance party. Have kids that love to explore nature? Go on a hike to collect leaves or rocks.
  3. Plan active family outings. Substitute an evening of TV with a walk around your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon at the zoo. Explore a local park. Get kids involved in planning activities so they look forward to doing them.
  4. Park farther away. Kids begging to go to a movie or the mall? That's okay! Just don't choose the closest spot so you all get in a few extra minutes of walking on the way to and from your destination.
  5. Check off your to-do list together. Get the whole family on board with tasks that get you moving, such as raking leaves or washing the car. You'll spend quality time together while you get things done – and you'll be doing something good for everyone's health.

Copyright 2016 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

Share Your Story