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If there was one rule of thumb about exercise, it might go something like this: exercise as a child, and you’ll exercise as an adult.

But how do you begin to teach a strong willed child to love physical activity as much as they love their video games? Simple. By making exercise fun! Here are some easy, accessible suggestions for bringing exercise into your children’s life that will get them once and for all excited about being healthy and active.

One thing is for sure – your toddler loves being active. And while they may not have the attention span for organized sports, you can help them to engage in exercise in a fun way. Encourage being outside at the park as a way to have fun as opposed to watching reruns of Barney all afternoon. Set up four cones to form a square, and with a soccer ball, have them run behind you, mirroring you as you dart in between the cones. Did your son or daughter just learn how to play catch? Be enthusiastic and encourage them to teach you. Remember, the more movement they get now, the more they’re likely to enjoy exercise as they get older.

Exercise Ideas For Your Picky Pre-Teen Daughter 

Your pre-teenage daughter can be finicky when it comes to working out, but this age group also offers more variety to pick and choose from. Does your 10 year old like to run? Stake out local fun run’s in your area. With mud-filled obstacle courses and sack races, it’s impossible not to enjoy this friendly competition. If your 13 year old daughter isn’t the athletic type, don’t sweat it. Encourage her to take a hula hoop cardio class with you at your gym, go for a bike ride in the park or enroll her in a ballet class. Whatever her interests are, allow her to explore it. As a result, she’ll get fit, learn to associate exercise as being enjoyable and have an increased sense of purpose and self-confidence. Isn’t that in itself something every teenage girl could use a little more of?

How to Encourage Exercise for Your Teenage Son/Daughter

If you have a teenager, then you know that this age group loves to exercise in groups. Use this to your advantage. So, your son or daughter isn’t thrilled at the idea of working out with you? Don’t take it personal. Instead, allow them to work out with their friends in a way they deem ‘cool’. Whether they love to skate, snowboard, play tennis, shoot hoops, or even if they idolize Tiger Woods’ swing – encourage it. Allow them to practice after their homework is done, on the weekends, and as a reward for doing their chores on time. As they grow up, they’ll not only make exercise part of their lives, but love you for showing them just how fun it can be.


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