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Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity is a critical to preventing childhood obesity. Exercise is most effective and more fun when it’s done as a group. In addition to promoting your child’s health and learning, you’ll feel better, too!

What You Can Do

Make exercise a family habit

  • Walk or bike to school together.
  • Take a family walk around the block each night after dinner.
  • Play upbeat music and dance your way through family chore times.

Play together

Instead of going to a movie or restaurant for your next family outing, plan something active:

  • Discover free and low-cost physical activity options near your home (parks, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts or community swimming pools).
  • Spend an afternoon at the local playground.
  • Play a round of miniature golf together.

Set family fitness goals

  • Post goals on the refrigerator, along with a way to track everyone’s progress. Cheer each other on as goals are achieved!
  • Train together for a charity walk or run.
  • Get pedometers and have a contest to see who takes the most steps in a given week.

Exchange “screen time” for active time

  • Limit sedentary screen time (computer, tablets, video games, TV) to no more than two hours per day.
  • Encourage your kids to sign up for some form of physical activity. Everyone can find something they enjoy.
  • Support your child by making a commitment to practices and showing up for games or performances.

What PTAs Can Do

  • Fire Up Your Feet: National PTA initiative encouraging families to walk more to and from school—and in daily life—while keeping track of their steps.

Learn More

  • Walking School Bus (Safe Routes to School National Partnership): An organized group of children that walks together to and from school with the supervision of an adult.
  • Bike Trains (Safe Routes to School National Partnership): A group of students and adults who bike to and from school together, making stops along a previously designated route to pick up others as they approach the school. Great for kids who live too far to walk!
  • Map Of Play (KaBOOM): Allows you to find, add, and rate great playspaces in your area.
  • Tools to Help Connect Kids and Nature (National Wildlife Federation): Provides tools to help families find nearby nature spaces and fun activities, as well as share wildlife sightings
  • Together Counts At Home, Tips and Tools: Learn how doing simple, everyday things together—like taking a long walk —can improve your family's Energy Balance: balancing what we eat with physical activity.