Did you know that your kids should exercise most if not all days of the week? Current guidelines recommend that children do one hour of physical activity per day. Kids may be getting in some of the daily quota at school, but that’s not a guarantee.

Unfortunately, boys and girls are more sedentary than ever before. Students used to walk to school and play outdoors at every opportunity. Today, with technology being a major part of everyone’s lives, most youngsters are staying inside plugged in rather than exercising outside. This is sad for many reasons, especially since kids are active by nature. We need to inspire them to get up and move!

Like us grown-ups, kids need to do aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises. And like us, when kids exercise, it decreases their stress while improving confidence and well-being.

I think it’s important to make fitness a part of children’s lives from the start. The best way to instill a fit lifestyle in your kids is to model it. Do stroller workouts or take tykes to mommy and me classes in infancy. Your children take notice that mom and dad like to exercise from the get-go.

Encourage toddlers to explore, ride tricycles and play on playgrounds. Preschoolers and kindergartners can be active by playing field games like tag and kickball. Keep fitness fun, and children will ask for more. Also don’t just sit on the bench while kids play. Join them! Practice different skills such as kicking, catching and throwing a ball. As young kids won’t have the coordination to excel in many of these physical skills, adjust your expectations and set up children for success.

It’s great when you can get in your exercise by being active with your kin. Walk, hike or bike ride with your kids as they get older. Expose them to different sports, like soccer and karate. Your kids will probably be attracted to activities that match their personalities. Team sports are not for everyone. Keep reading for age-appropriate exercises.

1-3 Years

Explore in a safe environment. Do tummy time and activities that develop youngsters’ motor skills, which they’ll need for crawling and walking. Keep toddlers happily active by allowing them to safely tumble and ride tricycles.

4-6 Years

Play games such as tag, kickball add red light green light. Try gymnastics, karate, dancing and swimming.

7-12 Years

Kids this age may enjoy more organized sports. Expose them to a variety of such activities, allowing kids to find what best suits their personalities.

13+ Years

Get teens out and exercising as much as possible. Encourage sports and invite kids to join your workouts.

For everyone in your family, steer clear of old beliefs that fitness has to take place in a gym or is boring. Living an active life is good for all.

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