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How can I help my kids get more exercise?

Mr. Donovan Green
Athletic Training
Kids are not big on doing pushups, jumping jacks, or squats. Instead, get your kids involved in doing more outdoor activities together as a family. One of my favorite things to do is go hiking or bike ridng with my kids and my wife. This will teach them the importance of being active, but most of all the importance of family.

Here are some ways to move your child happily from the TV and computer screen to more active hobbies.

  • Get classy: Enroll your child in a dance class, karate class, tae kwon do, or even yoga.
  • Hit a high note: Sign up your child for music lessons or a community choir.
  • Tour the town: Take a walk around the neighborhood with your child.
  • Join the team: Encourage your child to try out for team sports -- soccer, softball, basketball, swimming, etc.
  • Be an individual: If your child doesn’t show an interest in team sports, encourage individual activities such as bicycling and skating.
  • Hit the trail: Research opportunities for hiking in your area or within a comfortable driving distance.
  • Take a learning adventure: Plan outings to museums, galleries, theme parks, and historical sites.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Make it fun. Exercise is any activity that stresses the musculoskeletal system or the cardiorespiratory system. Exercise is not limited to weight training or running on a treadmill. Make exercise a game that your kids will enjoy. Ride bicycles, play catch or soccer in the local park. You can also, take your kid swimming as this is an excellent form of exercise. Getting your kid involved in after school or community sport leagues is another way to exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.