Family Exercise

Mother and Daughter Walking the Dog in the Park

Medical professionals and parents agree that our children are simply not getting enough exercise. Children as young as toddlers spend hours sitting on the couch playing video games or watching television without spending time outside playing or riding bikes. Parents often wonder how they can get their child to exercise willingly and the answer is simple – exercise as a family.

Family Exercise

When you exercise together, there is increased motivation as well as a support system. Older children can use this time to visit about their day and form a special bond with their parents while younger children will just greatly appreciate the time together. In our hectic world, exercising together as a family might be the best way of all to spend quality time together while ensuring the whole family is healthy.


Older children make excellent jogging partners. Find a great pair of running shoes and challenge your children to outrun you or pace your child while you get some exercise. If your child is resistant to running, taking a walk together might be more appealing.


Taking a long walk can burn many calories and help blood to circulate properly. Take a long walk around your neighborhood every evening. Young children can ride in a stroller if necessary or walk along with you. Children too young to ride in a stroller, but too little to walk for long might enjoy riding in a backpack or riding their bike while you walk. Even a short walk is better than no exercise at all.


If you are lucky enough to live in an area that lends itself to hiking or climbing, take the family out routinely to explore the woods and climb to the top of the tallest trees. Throw a picnic in a backpack and hike up to a special spot every weekend to have quality time together in nature away from the distractions of home.

Backyard Play

Romping in the backyard or living room is a great way to exercise. Wrestle your younger children and invent games of tag or hide and seek. If you have a backyard or a quiet street, engage your child in a game of cricket or football. Kick a ball around or take turns jumping on a trampoline. A swing set is another easy and fun way for kids to get fresh air and exercise.


If you already have a pet or are willing to get one, invest in a dog that needs time to run and play. Then include the dog in the family walk or walk to a park where you can throw a Frisbee or ball for the dog to catch. A dog expecting a daily walk will make it very challenging to skip your exercise routine.


Find all members of your family a bike and then set out on a family bike ride. Young children can ride in a trailer or bike seat attached to a parent’s bike, and everyone should wear proper safety equipment. Bike through your town and neighborhood, then invest in a bike carrier to take your bikes to other towns and natural areas to explore.


Children love water play, so when the weather is warm or if you have access to an indoor pool, let your children romp in the swimming pool. Don’t be afraid to hop in the pool with them. Swimming, or just playing in the water, is terrific exercise.

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