Fun ideas to be a more active family
Real-life ways to get your family moving
When it comes to physical activity, is your family:
A. Let’s go!
No matter where you’re starting, we have fun tips to help get everyone moving. See what seems doable to you — but don’t hesitate to try new things or ideas of your own. You might be surprised at what energizes you and yours.
Shake up your daily routine. The goal here: Up everyone’s activity during your hours together. No kids at home? You may find inspiration here for solo activities — or for whomever you want to bring along for the fun.
Have post-dinner dance parties. Get in some good giggles too — ask kids to teach you their favorite dance moves.
Turn off screens. Move things outside with a game of tag, soccer or touch football. Or engage imaginations as well as muscles by making up a new game, obstacle course or scavenger hunt.
Pitch in together. Active chores, like washing windows or helping in the yard, all count as physical activity.
Children and teens — ages 6 to 17 — should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.1
Head out and about. Turn your town or neighborhood into a fitness center.
Make a playground pit stop. Swing by after school instead of coming straight home.
Hoof it. Go biking or hiking on nearby trails. And walk to places instead of driving, when possible — like the library or farmers market.
Don’t mind the weather. Embrace seasonal activities like swimming when it’s warm and cross-country skiing when the snow starts to fly. Depending on your climate, that might mean finding indoor activities on the hottest, coldest or rainiest days, such as bowling at the local alley or trying indoor rock climbing.
Benefits of regular exercise
Regular exercise can help kids:
- Build strong bones and muscles.
- Feel better about themselves.
- Manage stress.
- Sleep better.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
Get involved in the community.
Do good acts for others and your family at the same time:
Move for a cause. Sign up for a charity walk or run. It’ll help teach kids the importance of giving back — and getting out.
Be team players. Help organize active events that strengthen community or neighborhood ties. Think family field days, softball games or relay races.
Join a local clean-up effort. Look for groups that need volunteers to help beautify nearby parks, trails or neighborhoods.
What to do next
Make sure everyone in the family gets regular wellness exams.2 Is your child due for a checkup? These regular wellness visits are a great time to ask questions you have about your child’s health and development.
See what other preventive care services your family may need. You can create lists based on age and gender.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Check your benefit plan to see what services may be covered.
National Institutes of Health