Getting Kids to Move More


Kids and teens need 60 minutes of exercise daily. Here are some ways to get them off the couch.

Call it play:

Words matter. Kids may not want to “exercise” every day, but they probably want to “play” as much as possible. Teens may be more open to “moving.”

Count every minute:

They don’t have to do 60 minutes all at once. Short spurts throughout the day add up.

Plan it:

Put play on the calendar so kids can see what’s planned. Or use something like the Let’s Move Healthy Family Calendar (

Cut screen time:

Less screen time means more play time. Use the Let’s Move Screen Time Log (

Take screen breaks:

When watching TV, everyone moves during commercials. Video game players take a break every 15 minutes. Older kids get homework breaks. Stand up, walk the stairs, do jumping jacks, dance — you get the idea.

Make new habits:

Have the whole family come up with a list of habits they promise to keep. Here are a few examples:

  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Always park further away from the door.
  • Always take a walk after dinner.
  • Always walk to school on Fridays.

Use apps and videos:

Look for kid-friendly yoga and exercise videos at the library and on YouTube. Try some apps, like:

  • Sworkit kids (ages 7+) ( 1Qeczmf)
  • Super Stretch Yoga HD (ages 4+) (http://
  • 7-Minute Workout for Kids (ages 6-8) (
  • Wipeout Create & Crash (ages 10+)

Kinect Rush:

A Disney Pixar Adventure (ages 7+) More info on these games can be found at

Make fun times active:

Schedule active outings for weekends, school holidays, or birthday parties.

Ideas include:

  • Bowling
  • Mini golf
  • Hiking
  • Frisbee golf

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

“Copyright, reprinted with permission”

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