By Erin McKenna, RDN, CDN

It is very beneficial to teach your children the importance of exercise early in life. This will help them develop a lifelong habit of physical activity. Physical activity is not only good for keeping them fit and energetic, but it also helps with focus and social skills.

Kids tend to take after and look up to their parents so it is important to show them that exercise is something you value as well! Here are some tips to make activity fun for the whole family.

  • Make activity family time. Go for a walk after dinner, it’s a great way to get some steps in while catching up with each other!
  • Do activities that the kids may not even consider “exercise” such as hopscotch, tag or kickball. They will have a blast without realizing how much exercise they are getting.
  • Go to the park and play around on the jungle gym.
  • Find a fun hiking trail that has a lot of visual features and activities to keep the kids entertained.
  • Instead of activities that involve sitting such as going to the movies or going out to eat, pick an activity that makes you move such as bowling, miniature golf, laser tag, or walking around a zoo!
  • Plant a garden. The kids will love seeing their plants grow! Want an even better idea, try a vegetable garden!

Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in most days. Teaching kids the value of being physically active will help them know the importance, and they will be more likely to incorporate it into their adult lives.

Erin McKenna, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients.  She works with patients to help them achieve their health and weight loss goals.