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5 Fun Kids' Fitness Tips to Get Your Little Couch Potato on the Move

Got a kid who's allergic to exercise? Try these tips to sneak in fitness.

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Some kids are naturally geared toward fitness. They love sports and physical activity (one of my son’s friends would play soccer 24/7 if his parents let him). And others, like my little lounge-lover, don’t. If your grade-schooler is the type of kid who’d rather play videogames or watch TV all day, then try these ideas for getting him off the couch and into some fun activities.

1. Make kids' fitness a family habit.

Dreamstime
Weekends should be about going out and doing something together. Kids are master adapters. If you make physical activity a part of the family weekend routine, that is what they will expect.

2. Don’t turn on the TV in the morning.

StockXpert
While it can be tempting to let your kids sit in front of the TV so that you can get some extra sleep or do things around the house, it can set a sedentary pattern. Instead, try getting them out the door after breakfast. That way, they’re less likely to beg for Saturday-morning cartoons or reach for the videogames.

3. Sneak in exercise.

Dreamstime
If you say you want them to go out so you can all get some exercise, it won’t have quite the allure of, say, going for a family bike ride or having a picnic in the park. Bring along a Frisbee or a kite and before you know it, your kids will be so busy having fun, they won’t want to stop for lunch.

4. Bring out his desire to win.

Kids are naturally competitive, so motivate him by setting up a game with a soccer ball (if you only have one or two people on a team, it doesn’t matter -- you can still set up goals and score). You can also suggest races or set up contests to see who can throw a ball or Frisbee the farthest. Whatever activity you choose for your child, he'll be more likely to push himself -- and have fun -- if you set it up as a challenge.

5. Sign him up for a class or a team.

It can be soccer, karate, or any other physical activity he might enjoy. Ask other parents what their kids are doing on the weekends. If you child gets to play with a friend, he may be more motivated to join in.
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