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11 Ways to Keep Children Active 

In this age of constant electronic distraction, it's important to get youngsters moving and form healthy lifestyle habits early. These are our top 11 ways to keep your children active.

#1: Get them involved in organized school-sponsored athletics

School sports build teamwork and life skills like following instructions, strategy, and how to keep a positive attitude even when they lose. Students who participate in competitive activities have a more structured environment, better physical and mental health, and tend to have higher grade point averages. They also have less time to become bored and look for not-so-healthy ways to spend their off-school hours.


They also have role models available to act as mentors and confidants. Some coaches become supplements to the values instilled by parents at home. A sort of natural reinforcement to the messages they receive from family. It is in the best interest of the coaches to keep players healthy and ready to improve so they can win more games and continue the cycle of success.

#2: Make friends in the neighborhood

Other children in the neighborhood kids can act as a positive form of peer pressure when it comes to keeping your young ones active. If they have a street soccer, football, hockey, or softball group, those loosely-organized past times will help your child get out of the house and away from the temptation of video games, television, or portable electronics.

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of coming home, sitting down in front of the television or getting on a tablet and wasting the afternoon away. But, for kids who have friends knocking on their door to join a game of their choice, they are more likely to get up and out of the house.

#3: Find community activities  

Many communities or civic groups offer after school groups like swim teams, equestrian lessons, dance troops, gymnastics, volleyball, baseball or softball leagues. Your local Boys and Girls Club might have a schedule you can pick up and tape to the refrigerator for future reference.

#4: Get outside  

Scout out local parks with playgrounds, walking trails, athletic fields, or bike trails. Playgrounds offer children a way to play and move around outside at the same time. Parks are also an opportune setting to develop a parent network, as kids of the same age tend to gravitate towards the same play equipment. It is easier to commit yourself, and your children to a time and place to play outside when you have someone to meet at the spot.

#5: Enlist the help of four-legged friends

If you don't have a dog to walk, chances are your neighbor does, and would be grateful for the help. Pets benefit from an active lifestyle much like humans. Exercise helps keep your dog’s joints working properly, manages weight, and keeps them from getting bored and destructive.

#6: Take your children to sporting events

The atmosphere is usually energetic, and it’s motivating watching highly-skilled athletes working at their craft. The match or game might inspire your child to take a hobby to the next level or begin a new sport.

#7: Include them in any of your activities

If you play tennis or golf, run, yoga, surf, even trips to the gym will help instill good habits in the next generation.

#8: Participate in community events like The Color Run or local races

You're helping a good cause, meeting new people, and exposing your kids to athletes who commit to crossing the finish line.

#9: Make it fun; get creative with an active lifestyle

Ballroom dancing, roller-skating, skate parks, or hunt for local treasures via geocaching are fun ways to get in the daily calorie burn. Plus they might learn something along the way.

#10: Learn more about your community

Enjoy the local scenery with your children in a healthy way. Get out and see the sights including museums, cultural attractions, scenic landscapes, and make sure to take lots of pictures to remind you of the fun.

It's always an adventure exploring your own hometown. They might discover someone who inspires them in a constructive way, as an artist or craftsman of some sort. Or your child could watch an athlete of a non-traditional sport like downhill mountain bike racing, or snowboarding and decide to give that a try.

#11: Park farther away

Something that you can do every day is to get in the habit of parking in a distant parking space at the store, mall, etc. Every little bit of exercise helps, and parking far away from the destination is much less of a headache than endlessly searching for a close spot.

These are just a few of the tips we have for getting your children to be more active and to lead a healthier lifestyle. For more about our local youth programs, visit our Programs & Services section of this site, or contact us

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