4 Actions Families Can Take to Keep Youth Physically Active

August 09, 2018


Family members play an important role in keeping youth active. During National Exercise with Your Child Week, learn what you can do to encourage physical fitness in your child’s life."

Proper physical activity is critical for every child’s health and well-being, and according to Dr. Dan Cooper, it’s even associated with improved academic performance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of daily exercise that includes aerobic activities, muscle-strengthening activities, and bone-strengthening activities.

While most parents know the importance of keeping youth active, it may sometimes be challenging to make exercise appealing to children. National Exercise with Your Child Week, which occurs every August, is a great opportunity to adopt new habits that will improve the health of both you and your children, while also strengthening your family’s bond.

Here are a few ways to that you can empower your family to be more physically active together:

1. Lead an active life yourself. Children are heavily influenced by what they observe from their parents or guardian. They will learn the value of physical fitness if they see exercise incorporated in your own daily life.

2. Build physical activity into your family’s daily routine. Make a habit of taking walks after dinner or doing weekly bike rides.

3. Attend family nights or physical activity events at your child’s school or your local YMCA center. Learn more about the family programs offered at each of our Y centers here.

4. Limit “screen time” by setting limits for the entire family. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children 2 years or older should spend no more than 2 hours of “screen time” a day.

Click here to learn more about what the CDC says families can do to keep youth active.