Alarming statistics of childhood obesity and inactivity flood the media. Research points out that Americans are falling behind in physical fitness. As parents and educators, we have a responsibility to make sure our children know the importance of good health.

Here’s how to do it

Children are interested in trying new physical activities. Neighborhood parks, clubs, and schools have many free or low-cost activities, but the core fitness that needs to be established is cardio-fitness, simply defined as continuous movement for an extended period of time.

Walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading and swimming are core activities. Families who exercise together can establish a bond that helps everyone remain active. The best habits are reinforced with a schedule. Pencil exercise time into your daily calendar and establish a time each day that works for everyone in the family. Family walks are fun and healthy, and encourage conversation.

Family walking tips

Since variety is the spice of life here are a few family walking tips:

  • Walk in different areas of your neighborhood or town.
  • A rainy day walk with umbrellas and boots is fun and adds variety to the exercise routine.
  • Try a night walk with flashlights.
  • Walk and toss a ball back and forth.
  • Add some intensity by racing home on the last block.