Tips to be Fit
• Instead of telling your child to
“exercise,” ask them to “play.” It
is important to keep it fun so that they will continue to
engage in physical activity as they get older.
Set an example. Your children will be more likely to be active
if you are, especially if they see you enjoying it. Make exercise
a regular part of the family routine; walk or bike after dinner.
Encourage playing outside after school to get a break before
• The 60 minutes does not have to be done all at once;
children typically exercise in shorter bursts. All activity
counts no matter how brief, but try to make it last at least
• Gradually increase the number of days and time spent
each day exercising in order to limit the possibility of injury.
Replace inactive time with active time.
• If your child is not able to go outside and play,
have them play indoors. Some suggestions for indoor activities
include dancing, jump roping, doing jumping jacks, and spinning
a hula-hoop. Also, some interactive video games like Wii Fit
by Nintendo, Play TV EA John Madden Football, SSX with a step
snowboard, or Dance Dance Revolution by Konami Digital Entertainment
can get the body moving and the blood pumping.
• Explain to your child from an early age the many benefits
of exercising.With preschoolers, tell them the importance
of of “growing up big and strong.” With adolescents,
you can encourage building his or her endurance for sports.
This will increase the likelihood that they will continue
to love to exercise as they get older.
• Provide a safe environment and equipment for your
child to exercise; helmets and pads for bike riding, skateboarding
and scootering, safe sidewalks for walking, and safe parks
for many other outdoor activities.
• Sit down with your child and explain the reason for
setting limits. You will have an easier time of this if you
engage them in a conversation and let them have a say in how
it will be enforced.
• Set a good example. You are your child’s best
teacher. They watch and imitate your behaviors so make sure
they are good ones.
• Invest in fun games, a deck of cards, good music or
have them use their imagination to come up with alternatives
to screen time on their own.
• If your child goes over the limit
one day, deduct it from their allotment for the next day.
• An easy way to explain to kids what is included in
electronic/screen time is to tell them that if it needs a
battery or plug and includes a screen for watching, then it
counts towards the two-hour time limit.
• Set a timer for one or two hours and have your child
start it when engaging in sedentary activities. When the ringer
goes off, so does the TV or computer.
• Try to limit screen time to one hour during the week
when children will be doing homework and increase it to two
hours per day on the weekend.
• Remove TVs from your child’s bedroom. Children
who have TVs in their room watch an extra one and a half hours
of television per day compared to peers without a set in their
• Do not watch TV while eating meals as this can be
distracting and lead not only to an increase in calorie consumption,
but also to a decrease in bonding time among family members.
• Join a recreational sports team or participate in
your city’s recreational programs like Moms of Tots