It’s important to raise active kids who move their bodies every day, but it’s also important to make physical activity fun—not a chore to be endured, says David Walsh, Ph.D., author of Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids: The One Brain Book You Need to Help Kids Grow Brighter, Healthier, and Happier.
- Make sure your child plays and exercises every day.
- Talk to your child about the connection between moving muscles and building brains.
- Encourage a variety of movement to build strength, endurance, and flexibility.
- Get started with family exercise time.
- Have fun.
- Give your child household jobs that work muscles.
- Check the amount of exercise or playtime your child gets at school and in after-school programs.
- Encourage your kids to dance to music.
- Try wearing a pedometer to increase steps each day.
- Make sure sedentary activity is balanced with exercise and movement.
- Try video games that make your child move.
- Turn electronic screens off when the weather turns warmer.
- Connect your child with the outdoors.
- Don’t make exercise a workout chore.
- Don’t force a child to join a sports team.
- Don’t let screen time crowd out exercise and playtime.
- Don’t let your child get out of shape.
- Don’t stress your child by expecting physical performance beyond their ability or age.
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