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.
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.
- 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.
- Let’s Move, Active Families: Activities and steps that families can consider to get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle
- 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.