Families & Physical Activity

Participating in activities as a family is a great way to get to know your kids even better, as well as get everyone moving.  Studies show that kids who are supported by friends and family, or are surrounded by other active people, are more likely to follow their healthy example.

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.

Active Families Below 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. 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.

Source: http://www.letsmove.gov/