How to keep kids––and the entire family––active all year long

Fit Together

How to keep kids––and the entire family––active all year long.

By Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty

Photo by 7713 Photography


When you instill active behavior from a young age children grow up with a natural inclination to move their body. With the increase of accessible technology kids are easily able to become sedentary, which overtime poses risks to their health and well-being. Keep kids active all year long using these ideas the whole family will enjoy.


Create a game list and include things such as monkey in the middle, hop scotch, pass the soccer ball, hide and seek, tag, and red light/green light. These backyard games are great for developing coordination and memory and will have your child moving and laughing in no time. Plus, you’ll create happy family memories and role model positive healthy behavior.


“Take a family adventure on your bike through your neighborhood or go on a gentle nature walk,” suggests Sue Fields, the founder and CEO of Multi Sports Journeys. “Most everyone is capable of a bike or walk and if they’re not, they probably need to start.” Bonus: Researchers at Harvard University found that fresh-air activities help counteract the negative physical and mental health impact of a sedentary, indoor lifestyle. Involve your kids and let them choose which outdoor activities your family will tackle each week.


Create your own exercise obstacle course using household supplies. Use soup cans in place of dumbbells, a stepping stool for step exercises, a broom to hop back and forth over, and a coffee table for push-ups or triceps dips. Show your children that at any time and anywhere, they can do a workout. You don’t need to spend countless hours in a gym to be healthy and get results.


As a family, create a plan to exercise. Make a chart for every day of the week and designate an exercise to check off when completed. For example:

Mondays: Take a family walk.

Tuesdays: Alternate 10 jumping jacks and dribble a basketball 20 times.

Wednesdays: Play catch with a Frisbee.

Thursdays: Get outside and create challenges for your kids. Try frog jumps, skipping races, and running backwards across the yard.

Fridays: Have a dance party. Turn up the music and shake it!

Saturdays: Plant a garden or do yard work.

Sundays: Take a bike ride or hike.

Movement makes a huge difference in kids both physically and mentally. Start when they are young to create lifelong positive habits. Have fun with it. Exercise is a lifestyle.

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