All children aged five or over should be physically active for at least one hour a day.
Physical activity helps children:
- grow strong muscles and bones
- maintain a healthy weight
- discover the world around them
- build their confidence
You can help by encouraging your child to find activities they enjoy and building physical activity into family life.
10 ways to make exercise fun
1. Walk, scooter or cycle to and from school together as often as possible. Read about the health benefits of cycling.
2. Build a den or treehouse with them in the school holidays. Or, under supervision, encourage them to climb a tree or two.
3. Go roller skating, rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. In winter, go ice skating.
4. Do an activity challenge together, such as training for a fun run or charity walk. See the parkrun website for free weekly 5K runs near you.
5. Take the dog for a walk. If you don't have one of your own, ask if you can borrow a friend or neighbour's dog.
6. Support your kids in sports, clubs or any other activities that may interest them. Joining a weekend club sport encourages them to make a commitment to a team and regular exercise. Find sports and fitness activities in your area.
7. Find time every weekend to do something active with your children. Play frisbee or football in the park, go trampolining, or try indoor rock climbing.
8. Fly a kite. The Kite Society of Great Britain has local groups that meet for special flying days where experienced members offer advice and help. Some also run kite-making workshops.
9. Take a trip to the beach. Beaches offer loads of ways for kids to get active, including games, rock-pooling, swimming, and plenty of running around. Or try an activity-based holiday.
10. The National Parks website has lists of events like guided walks and children's fun days to give you ideas for active days out.
You'll find more advice on getting active as a family on the Change4Life website.
Article provided by NHS Choices