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5 Physical Activities That Help Kids Create Healthy Habits for Life

There’s a scary epidemic that sweeping the nation. Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that obesity in childhood more than doubled between 1980 and 2012. The latest studies show that 18% of children are considered obese and over one third are overweight.

Not surprisingly, this is causing concerns in the health community and among parents. Health risks include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes – another problem that is on the rise. In addition to a healthy diet, getting kids physically active is a critical part of fighting childhood obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes.


Let’s get our kids moving with one (or more) of the activities below!

Organized Sports

Organized sports are one of the best ways to increase physical activity. For one, it keeps you and your kid on a regular schedule. Coaches and other players can also help motivate your child if their commitment starts to waiver. The other benefit of organized sports is that it teaches kids teamwork and gives them a goal to work towards.

Kids are sometimes reluctant to try new things, including a new sport. One effective way to get them interested is letting them choose their sports equipment. Picking out baseball gloves for kids, baseballs to practice with at home or a pair of new cleats is not only fun, it also gives your kid a sense of ownership and control over the process.

Backyard Games

If you want your kids to get out and be more active it helps to set a good example. Set aside time for family backyard games that get everyone on their feet and away from screens. Better yet, get together with a few other parents and organize neighborhood games of kick the can or freeze tag. Soccer is another great option because all you need is a ball and a pop up net.

Regardless of which activity you choose, the main point is to get your kids moving. Bonus: you’ll also get to spend quality time together and burn a few calories yourself!

Playground Time

Every kid loves a trip to the playground, and so do health officials. Exercising through play is an all-around effective way to get your kids moving without them complaining about it. Playgrounds are also a great place to develop social and motor skills as well. Invest in a low-cost tablet that way you can make the grocery list, take care of bills and surf the web while you’re little one swings, slides and runs from one piece of equipment to the next.

Join the Let’s Move Program

The Let’s Move Program is a nationwide initiative aimed at helping this generation of kids get healthy and stay healthy. There are community programs across the country that are engaging children in tons of creative, fun ways. Use their interactive map to find participating locations near your home. Parents can also use the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to determine how physically active kids should be at different ages.

Enroll Your Kids in a Gym

Gym membership is a way for adults to stay fit, and now your kids have plenty of fitness centers to choose from as well. There are a growing number of gym franchises that cater specifically to children. Many kids gyms are also designed to appeal to certain interests, which can help keep kids motivated to stay active. Another popular option is the YMCA. This long-running organization holds a variety of classes, activities and organized sports for kids throughout the year. Knowing that your paying for the gym membership each month will also motivate you to make sure they get in their play time.

The habits they create in childhood will likely stick with your kids for life. That’s why it’s important to get them moving now so they stay active throughout their teens and adulthood.

Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, technology and more.  She writes for Life with Lisa as well as several other blogs and websites.  Check back soon for more from Becky.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    I am all for getting kids to do more physical things instead of being buried in electronics….Like Mother used to say…go play outside.