Obesity in children is spiraling out of control, and youngsters are on the fast track to diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related health conditions that can ruin their quality of life. The primary reason for this is that kids today spend more time playing computer games and watching television than they do engaged in physical activity.

Help your kids avoid a future of double-chins and oversized backsides by finding fun ways to exercise with them. For optimum fitness results, encourage them to get at least 60-minutes of exercise on most days of the week.

Make play a priority. The idea of running up and down the yard with your kids may seem absurd, but it’s not. Playing such games as catch and hide-and-seek with your children can help melt away extra calories while helping them develop an appreciation for outdoor activities.

Set aside 30 to 60-minutes, three or four days per week to spend time outside with your kids. If your time is limited, trade some of your kids’ computer or television time for outdoor activities. For instance, if they usually watch two hours of television per day, limit their time to an hour and encourage them to spend the rest of their TV time on the playground.


Opt for walking over driving. When the weather is delightful, instead of driving your kids to school or to the library, strap on your tennis shoes and walk. If you live too far from the places you frequent, schedule routine after-dinner walks for the family. Instead of plopping down in front of the television when dinner is over, round everyone up and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

Even if your kids do this two or three times per week, they will burn extra calories, increase their muscle mass, and increase the bone density in their lower extremities.

family walking

Boogie to the music. When you’re lounging around the house on those rainy or blustery days, turn on some upbeat tunes and encourage your children to dance around the house like maniacs.

This activity also works well when it’s incorporated into household chores. When your kids see how much fun sweeping, mopping and washing dishes to the beat of their favorite song is, they won’t dread clean-up duty anymore. They get to strengthen their hearts and improve their lung function while keeping the house sparkling clean.

Make yard work a family affair.Turn seasonal yard work into an opportunity to get the kids out of the house for a little exercise. Young kids can do such things as rake and bag leaves, and pick up stray branches around the yard. If your kids rake the pile of leaves high enough, they can tumble around in them before they fill the bags. If you have older children, they can wheelbarrow dirt, dig holes for flowers and put mulch in the flower beds.

Use TV commercials as fitness breaks.If your kids’ activity of choice is watching television, have them do quick exercises during the commercials. For instance, during the first commercial, you can have the kids jump rope until the show comes back on.

During the next commercial break, have kids do push-ups. Continue this pattern until the television show is over. Since exercise is cumulative, your kids will get a decent workout by simply exercising during the commercial breaks of one or two of their favorite shows.

boys exercising

Exercise is one of the most important things children can do to maintain a healthy weight and stave off diabetes, high blood pressure and other crippling health conditions. In instances where kids aren’t motivated to get physically active, use the above tips to show support and encourage them to exercise.

Author bio: Gaiam TV is a video streaming service specializing in topics such as yoga, exercise, health, nutrition, inspiration, and spirituality.