Tips for Parents to Encourage Children To Be More Physically Active

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Child and her mother playing roller blade together.As a parent, you have an important role in shaping your children’s physical activity attitudes and behaviors. Here are some tips to encourage your children to be more physically active.

  • Provide opportunities for children to be active by playing with them. Give them active toys and equipment, and take them to places where they can be active.
  • Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything the child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. They may range from team sports, individual sports, and/or recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities, and free-time play.
  • Offer positive reinforcement for the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage them as they express interest in new activities.
  • Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself, and make physical activity part of your family’s daily routine such as designating time for family walks or playing active games together.
  • Find a convenient place to be active regularly.
  • Limit the time your children watch television or play video games to no more than two hours per day. Instead, encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity (walking, playing chase, dancing).
  • Ensure that the activity is age appropriate and, to ensure safety, provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads, and knee pads.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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