Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Studies show that kids who are supported by friends and family or surrounded by active people and more likely to be active. Engaging in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving.
Benefits of Activity
Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It can help prevent chronic diseases, control weight, build lean muscle, reduce fat, and decrease the risk of obesity. Children need at least an hour every day of moderate to vigorous activity to maintain a healthy weight.
Being active as a family increases opportunities for kids and families to be physically active. Here are some activities you and your family can consider to get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle.
- Give children toys that encourage physical activity, such as balls, kites, and jump ropes.
- Encourage children to join a sports team or to try a new physical activity.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Facilitate a safe walk to and from school several times a week.
- Walk around the block after a meal.
- Find time to spend together doing a fun activity, like family bike day, swim day, or skate day.
- Make a new house rule: No sitting still during television commercials.
- Issue a family challenge to commit to physical activity five days a week for six weeks.
Other Ways to Get Active
Increasing your family’s physical activity is not the only way to help your kids get active. Here are some other ways you can be involved:
- Limit TV time and keep the television out of your child’s bedroom.
- Talk to your children’s principal or write to your district superintendent to incorporate more physical education in schools.
- Encourage schools to hold recess before lunch to increase physical activity before mealtime.
- Volunteer to help with after-school physical activity programs or sports teams.