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 are 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 muscle, and decrease the risk of obesity.
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 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 or swim 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. The following 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.