Your child has probably started the school year by now. This means it’s time to continue thinking about the school year schedule and routine — and yes, that includes making sure your child is getting enough exercise during their week, even if they’re not enthusiastic about committing to workouts. This year, let’s focus on how we can transform the term ‘exercise’ into something ‘fun’ for your child.

Here are 5 ways to incorporate more ‘fun’ physical activities into the busy school year:

  1. ‘Let’s Take 30’:

Homework can consume a lot of time, especially as your child’s classes become more advanced. Combined with their daily video games or TV habit, this can add up to many hours of sitting! Establish a system where both of you agree to ‘take 30’ when you’ve been sitting for too long. Go for a walk, dance to some music, or play a game of basketball. It’s a great way to break up sedentary activities.

  1. Choose an Active Extracurricular Activity:

Always encourage your child to explore new activities they enjoy. A sport or dance class might be their preferred way to get exercise. Childhood is a time to discover your child’s strengths, and I strongly advocate for exploring all options. If they’re hesitant to commit to an exercise program, try to find an activity that involves movement. Who knows, they might discover one of their favorite hobbies in the process.

  1. Family Fun Days:

I always emphasize the significance of family support, and it holds true! By prioritizing active family time, your child will learn to value it too. Weekends are usually less hectic than school days, so take advantage of the extra time! Go for a walk, play Just Dance on the Wii, or hit the fitness club together and teach your child some workouts you know. Make it a family event!

  1. Include Friends:

What better way to get your child excited about physical activity than by involving their friends? A bike ride or a game of tag with their best friend provides an easy way to sneak an hour or more of physical activity into their day.

  1. Lead by Example:

You are their biggest role model! Heading to a yoga class? Bring your child along. Of course, you need to consider their age and safety in what you’re doing (for example, weightlifting is not safe for teens under 16). However, there are many activities that they could try, like helping you carry the grocery bags back home or joining your run. Show them that exercise is important for both you and them!

Remember, workouts don’t need to be lengthy or intense for children. There’s always time for things that matter to you. The key is to discover activities your child enjoys that are also important to them. This way, they won’t see exercise as a chore. Here’s to trying something new this school year and making fitness a priority!


By Paytra Gessler, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, Certified ISSA Fitness Professional

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