How to Encourage Your Child to Exercise

Like adults, children should be physically active most, if not all, days of the week. Experts suggest at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily for most children. Walking fast, bicycling, jumping rope, dancing fast, and playing basketball are all good ways for your child to be active.

As children spend more time watching TV and playing computer and video games, they spend less time being active. Parents play a big role in helping kids get up and get moving.

  • Be a role model for your children. If they see you being physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active throughout their lives.
  • Involve the whole family in activities like hiking, biking, dancing, basketball, or roller skating.
  • Focus on fun. You can do a lot of walking during trips to the zoo, park, or miniature-golf course.
  • Include children in household activities like dog-walking, car-washing, or lawn-mowing.
  • Limit your children’s TV and computer time. Offer them active options, like joining a local recreation center or after-school program, or taking lessons in a sport they enjoy.
  • Encourage your child to be physically active every day.

 

Reprinted from the NIDDK’s Guide for Healthy Eating (National Institutes of Health)

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