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5 Fitness Tips for Kids

This is a partnered post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our Christmas vacation was truly magical this year. Everyone was moderately healthy (an accomplishment for us), the kids were gracious and grateful, and I baked like crazy. Cookies, brownies and cakes for days…

But, oh, that television. I feel like it was on non-stop for two weeks. And even when it wasn’t the television, there was the iPad and Netflix. And to be totally honest here, I don’t mind the television and video games — in moderation. But now that our Christmas vacation is over, we’re doing our best to get back on track. Finding time for all of it can be challenging, but I know that fitness is so critical to the long-term health of my children so I’m willing to give it priority in our chaotic schedule.

Fitness Tips for Kids

Bring a Friend: As an adult, I’m way more likely to get out there and exercise if I have a friend with me. It’s not only more fun, but you have an accountability partner! Kids are the same. Ask a friend to sign up for a fun class with you and your children or make an effort to get to know the other kids in your classes. If you or your children are not interested in a class, try bringing a friend on a hike.

Fitness Tips for Kids

Make It Fun: Fitness for kids should be filled with fun. Here are some easy ideas that don’t require a lot of supplies or planning:

  • Make a sidewalk chalk game board with motions to complete when landing on each spot.
  • Turn your backyard into an obstacle course.
  • Use a stopwatch and turn everyday activities, like picking up toys, into a race.
  • Add balloons. Balloons make everything more fun! They are inexpensive and are perfect for relay races, making a game of keeping them from touching the floor, etc.

Mix It Up: Nobody wants to do the same thing day after day. Using an exercise chart, like the options available from Minutes for Me, which allows kids to plan out their fitness activities for the week. Make sure to include a variety, not only for fun but to strengthen all bones and muscles.

Melanie shares more about Fitness for Kids and how these printable exercise charts can help.

Be an Example: I know it won’t last forever, but my girls still want to be just like me. So I try to be a person worth emulating, and that includes modeling physical activity. The harder part for me personally is how I talk about physical activity. When I moan about running, little ears are listening.

Incorporate Technology: Not all video games are created equal. There are tons of great games to get kids moving. I can work up a sweat chopping up fruit like you wouldn’t believe. Technology will also allows kids to monitor their activity. Using a range of products from simple pedometers to much fancier devices, kids can track their progress and set goals for themselves.

With the frightening stats on childhood obesity currently in the US, fitness and nutrition is something we as parents must take seriously. Our goal should be instilling good habits into our kids early on.

How do you encourage your children’s fitness?

About Melanie

My name is Melanie. I love glitter, my family, and making lists.


  1. 1

    It’s pretty cold here so we don’t go out too much, but I do try to let my boys be active in school, in the house, and playdates. I think I need to get over my dislike of cold and get outside with them more often.

  2. 2

    My daughter gets lots of play time at school and now that we have a puppy, lots of walks too.

  3. 3
    Cyn Hughes says:

    I let them join me in my workouts and I make a point to let them know when I’m headed out for long runs and whatnot. I think that when they view fitness as a regular part of life (like eating or school), they’re more likely to get in the habit of doing it. PS – I love your tips! I’m definitely going to incorporate some of those.

  4. 4

    These are such great tips! We really try to make fitness fun for our kids but one is just more interested in it than the other so it can make things tough. I’m going to try incorporating these tips thought and I’m sure it will help!

  5. 5

    Great tips! We really need to get moving more. Farm work in winter is pretty minimal, except walking to the barn! 😉

  6. 6

    I am lucky to have kids who really love to be outside and being active. I think the printable is just precious.

  7. 7

    These are all great tips! I think any level of activity is fun for younger kids.. It’s usually the older kids that need motivation and you have great ideas on how to make that work!

  8. 8

    These are great tips!! My friend was just asking for ideas to get her kids moving more! I will definitely share!!

  9. 9

    The way we used to play Hopscotch was pretty grueling work–as was getting that hula hoop to stay swirling around your body. Jump rope with friends or by yourself. Hey-and what about badminton! All those activities have been around for ages and kept all of us in pretty good shape back then! Of course back then we also walked a lot with our friends–no parents to drive us everywhere-but times have changed and unfortunately that is not all that safe anymore.

  10. 10

    My kids are grown now, but when they were young, we used to go to different parks every other day to change things up a bit. They got to know the things to do at each park and looked forward to certain ones. After a while, there was one that I used as a reward for doing things well and finishing chores.

  11. 11

    I love all of those tips. We find it so difficult to get the kids the exercise they need in the winter. Lately we’ve been taking them to the mall on weekends so they can walk off all that extra energy.

  12. 12

    These are some really good tips for getting the kids involved in the exercise. My kids LOVE to go on nature walks with me. They may leave me behind at times, but they enjoy doing scavenger hunts and playing the camouflage game.

  13. 13

    I’ve always worked out to videos and my kids would see it every day and join in. They didn’t always join in, but pretty often. Now they are both adults and still have workout routines of their own.

  14. 14

    Those are some great tips. I am going to print out the chart for my daughter.

  15. 16

    These are great tips! I think being a role model for your kids in fitness is very important. I know for myself I had to teach myself the habit of being more active as it’s not something I learned from my parents.

  16. 17
    Mistee Dawn says:

    We try to have physical activity for an hour a day every day. We try to make it fun by doing the things she likes.

  17. 18

    You definitely need to make it fun for kids. If they view it as a chore and not fun than they aren’t going to want to do it!

  18. 19

    I have a neighbor who struggles with getting her kids more active and was asking for advice. I’ll send her this link.. great ideas.

  19. 20

    I love all of these! I don’t think kids move enough!

  20. 21

    I usually have to get my little one to sit down, he’s so busy busy busy. A workout buddy is a great idea though.

  21. 22

    Lots of great ideas! We’ve always encouraged our girls by leading by example and making them a part of everything we do. They started skiing on our shoulders in the baby backpack and naturally wanted to experience it for themselves. They ‘re active little girls who are just as likely to ask to go rock climbing as they are to want to ride their bikes to the local playground.

  22. 23

    I will definitely need to save this for later!! I’m not a super active person – but my husband is and I think this would be a great resource for us down the road

  23. 24

    I’m going to print this up for the boychild, I want to keep him active so he doesn’t get lazy.

  24. 25

    It’s so cold out right now but over Christmas break it wasn’t too cold so my kids road their scooters almost every day. It was nice to see them moving and getting fresh air. We also encourage them to play Wii games that get them up and moving.

  25. 26

    These are some great tips to keep kids active and interested in fitness.

  26. 27

    We would pretty much just play games at the park with our daughter to get her moving when she was younger. Really she just liked to chase us 🙂 Which got her energy out and her heart beat up…and ours too, lol!

  27. 28

    What great ideas to making fitness fun.

  28. 29

    I love this idea! My kids just love charts and earning stickers and stars. I have had some success getting my kids to come along for my walks and then in the warmer months they can go to school early for running club. But, I always feel like I would love them to do more and watch less TV. 🙂

  29. 30

    In the summer we will have races or bikes rides every evening. When it’s too cold to go out we like to have in home dance parties!

  30. 31

    We follow these tips! However, I can’t say that we’ve always been a great example, but we have been making lifestyle changes over the last few months and have been a lot more active. Better late than never. 🙂

  31. 32

    These are all some really great tips! I always incorporate something my kids like into their fitness routine that usually makes it more funner for them.

  32. 33

    I love these tips! (And they are very much the same tips I use for myself!!)

  33. 34

    We are thinking about taking our three year old on gymnastic. I am afraid how he’ll stay motivated. These are great tips, thank you!

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