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Get your child moving

10 Ways to Get Your Child Moving

August 16, 2023

By Angela Guerra, MD

Doctors are seeing far too many overweight children and teens. In many cases, children have become sedentary and spend too much time on computers or other electronic devices or watching television. In addition, school days are getting longer, leaving less time for play.

Some kids take naturally to sports or activity, while others need a bit more encouragement. To help prevent childhood obesity and its serious health implications, it’s important for children to get at least one hour of activity every day, if possible.


How To Help Kids Get More Exercise

Here are 10 ways you can help get your child moving. Creativity and patience may be needed, but the payoff is worth it.

  1. If your child doesn’t go for organized sports, try swimming, karate, or dancing.
  2. Limit TV and device time to one or two hours a day.
  3. Get the family moving together. Ride bikes, take a hike, play badminton, or walk to the grocery store.
  4. Be a good role model by making exercise part of your own weekly routine.
  5. Put physical activity on the calendar. For instance, set aside Tuesdays and Thursdays for family walks.
  6. Use positive reinforcement, such as praise or small rewards, rather than nagging or punishment, to encourage exercise.
  7. If a friend of your child’s is involved in an activity they might enjoy together, such as skating, bike riding, or swimming, suggest that your child join them.
  8. Don’t dictate. Let your child take a major part in making decisions about activities.
  9. Be sure activity options are age appropriate. Teens may want to skateboard or play basketball while younger children may want to just run around outside.
  10. Set up an area indoors where kids can roll, jump, or tumble, so that rain, snow, or excessive heat doesn’t impede activity.
Portrait of Angela Guerra, MD, Family Medicine specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

About the Author

Dr. Angela Guerra is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Kelsey-Seybold. Her clinical interests include management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, lifestyle improvements, and clinical efficiency.
Dr. Adesina from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

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