How to Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Exercise

Two Methods:Create a Schedule for Exercising That You and Your Child Will FollowBecome Familiar With Your Child’s Exercise Habits at School

During these days of technology in which many children prefer to sit and play video games rather than go play outside, it can be difficult for parents to ensure that their children are getting the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy. This is one of the many reasons why childhood obesity has been on the rise, which leaves a lot of parents wondering what they can do to help their child get adequate exercise. Exercise helps to keep children healthy and to keep them from developing many obesity-related diseases such as diabetes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that parents can take to ensure that their child is getting the exercise that he or she needs.

Method 1
Create a Schedule for Exercising That You and Your Child Will Follow

Setting a schedule for exercise can be very helpful for some families. This is especially true for parents of children who require a significant amount of structure in their daily lives. If parents tell their children that they can exercise whenever they want to, chances are that exercise might never happen.

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    Set aside a time for you to go to the gym with your child. Becoming a member of a gym or organization such as the YMCA can be a great way to get your child moving. Gyms usually have child- friendly activities such as basketball and swimming. Some gyms have activities specifically designed for children as well. If you go to the gym to work out, schedule your child to come with you a few days out of the week. This way, your child can get in some basketball or swimming time with you and you will know that he is getting the exercise he needs.
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    Do activities together. It is not enough for you to simply tell your child that you want him to get enough exercise. You should lead them by example. Set aside a time for you to take part in outdoor family activities together. These activities can be as simple as a family game of football on Saturday, or a family bike ride on the weekend. If you get involved and perform the exercises with your child, then your child will be more likely to follow the routine set for him because he will enjoy spending time with you. Most times, your child will even realize he is exercising.
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    Begin taking walks after dinner. If it is nice outside, this is an effective and easy way to get in some exercise for your child. After dinner, take your child for a walk around the neighborhood or nearby park. This is not only a good way to exercise with your child, but it also provides a good opportunity to connect with your child and spend quality time together.
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    Limit video game and TV time. If your child wants to get in front of the TV as soon as she gets home from school, then it may be necessary to set aside certain times for her to watch TV or play video games. Designate a time for this after your child has gone outside to play and has finished all of her homework and chores. Encourage your child to go outside for a while and play with friends or siblings when the school day is finished instead of just coming home to sit on the couch.

Method 2
Become Familiar With Your Child’s Exercise Habits at School

Some parents believe that a school’s exercise program is sufficient activity and that their child should be getting all of the exercise that he needs while he is at school. Often times, this is not the case. It is important to find out when your child is exercising at school and just how much exercise your child is actually getting.

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    Learn the days that your child has a Physical Education class. For some children, P.E. classes are not daily classes. Your child may only have these classes once or twice a week and your child may not be exercising at a sufficient level for the entire time. Find out how many times per week your child has these classes and what kinds of activities are being performed during these class times. This way, you will know the days that your child is getting exercise while at school. If the activity was not sufficient to constitute adequate exercise, you can encourage a light exercise routine once your child is home from school. This eliminates concerns over how much physical activity your child is participating n while at school and you will feel comfortable knowing whether or not you need to supplement that activity with additional exercise at home.
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    Encourage your child to participate in school sports, or recreational sports. Depending on your child’s age, there are usually plenty of sports available for her to get involved in. Encourage your child to participate in soccer, basketball, cheerleading and dance or gymnastics classes. These sports are great exercise for children and they also teach important values such as team work and discipline. There is no need to force your child to participate in these sports, but sometimes all a child needs is the encouragement to try something new. It may turn out that he or she loves the sport beyond just getting in some good exercise.
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    Figure out what to do if your child does not enjoy organized sports once he or she gives them a try. Organized sports are not for everyone and if your child doesn’t enjoy these activities, you shouldn’t worry. There are plenty of other activities that your child can participate in and enjoy. Find an activity that your child does enjoy doing, such as bike riding, rock climbing or shooting hoops with a friend. Involve and encourage your child to do these activities and perform the activities with your child if necessary. Children may enjoy participating in an activity more if it is with a sibling, parent or friend.


  • It is also important to find activities that your child enjoys. You don’t want to push your child to play soccer if she doesn’t enjoy it. Find out what your child likes to do and offer support and encouragement for that activity.
  • One of the most important things that a parent can do to help a child receive the exercise he needs is to do the exercise with him. Leading by example is important. If the parent is lying around on the couch all afternoon, then the child is likely to follow suit. Get out there and be active with your child.

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Categories: Building Muscle & Strength