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6 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Physically Active <br>

Looking back on your childhood, you may reminisce about joining the neighborhood kids for a competitive game of pick-up basketball, baseball or soccer. These activities not only made for great childhood memories, but they were also critical to your cardiovascular health and general wellness. More importantly, they set you up for a lifetime of healthy habits.

Fast forward and now it’s your child’s turn to learn the wonders of physical activity. We’re sharing our favorite ways to get your kids physically active and plant the seed for a healthier lifestyle.

1. Get Them on Wheels

Roller skating, rollerblading, skateboarding and biking are all great ways to get your kids moving. They’ll burn hundreds of calories per hour and have a blast doing it. Feel free to leverage the “cool” aspect of something like skateboarding (fit is cool!).

2. Tag Man’s Best Friend

Hitting the trail with your kids and pup is a great opportunity for everyone involved. Your pet will thank you for the quality bonding time and will reward you with better behavior and less trips to the vet. In addition, your child will learn the value of spending time outdoors and the physical and psychological benefits of daily exercise. Don’t have a dog? Ask the neighbor if he or she needs a hand walking theirs.

3. Embrace Free Play

When it comes to keeping children active, it doesn’t get any easier than this. Take your kids to a local playground and set them loose! A jungle gym, for example, provides a great workout for arms, legs and shoulders. Maybe parents could benefit from one of these at home, also…

4. Make Chores Fun

This one’s a long shot for your pre-teen, but is certainly a great way to get your young children moving. Next time it’s chore time at your home, challenge your kids to see how fast they can clean the house. Turn folding clothes into a competition. Blast your child’s favorite tunes and encourage them to sing and dance! If you pull this one off, you may just end up with a kid ready for bed and a clean home, a pretty good deal if you ask us.

5. Explore the Great Outdoors

If spending time outdoors with your family isn’t already on your agenda, it definitely should be. Set aside time during the weekend for outdoor activities. With the beautiful fall weather upon us, why not take on a hiking trail in the mountains? During the winter, take advantage of the snow with a sled or, even better, plan a family ski trip!

6. Take on a Challenge

Be a part of your child’s first race and take on a family fun run! Aside from the obvious health benefits of walking or running, your child will learn the sense of accomplishment unique to crossing the finish line at a race. Training for a race is a great experience that teaches perseverance and of course, healthy fitness habits.

Interested? We recommend trying the annual St. Jude Kids Marathon. Through the Kid’s Marathon, your child can complete a marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) at their own pace, logging their miles as they go with the St. Jude provided mileage tracker, while also giving back to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Plus, your family has the option to walk/run the last mile together at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Family Fun Run.

How do you keep your kids active?  Tell us in the comments!

References:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/thumbnails/0,,20406655,00.html

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/fitness/Pages/Encouraging-Your-Child-to-be-Physically-Active.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/childhealth6-15/Pages/Getactivewithyourkids.aspx

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20141005/NEWS/310059983/10298/LIFESTYLE

http://www.livestrong.com/article/239867-what-are-the-benefits-of-childrens-playground-equipment/

 

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