Physical activity is good for children and adults. It strengthens muscles, bones and joints, and it gives children the opportunity to gain confidence while having fun. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Playing hopscotch, tossing a ball back and forth, and dancing are some good ways for your child to be active. Some children are good athletes, but all need many opportunities to be active, including but not limited to sports.
* Be a physically active role model and have fun with your kids. Adults need at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
* Walk with your child at every available opportunity- if possible to school or to the store on errands. Take a family walk after dinner instead of watching tv or playing computer games.
* Plan active weekends. Include biking, hiking, skating, walking or playing ball. Take a trip to the park, skating rink, zoo, or swimming pool.
* Offer to join your child in his/her favorite physical activity, or enroll your child in a group exercise program.
* Include children in active chores such as dog walking, house cleaning, car washing, and yard work.
* Limit inactive behavior such as television watching and computer time. Do physical activity with your kids during commercials, such as marching in place or stretching. This helps reinforce the importance of movement in your child's life.
* Avoid using TV as a child sitter or pacifier. Offer active alternatives to screen time - jumping rope, playing hide-and-seek or running an errand. Children love when you are active with them and involve them in what you do.
* Keep TVs out of children's rooms. Give your children gifts that encourage physical activity-active games, sporting equipment, or a Frisbee.
* Take the President's Challenge as a family. You can track your individual physical activities together and earn awards for active lifestyles at www.presidentschallenge.org
* Talk with your schools about ways to incorporate noncompetitive physical activity during the day