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Quick, Easy Exercise Ideas for Kids

Are your kids getting enough exercise? We’ve got some tips to help your kids get active while having fun.

November 19, 2019 | HF Healthy Living Team

Are your kids being active enough? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that kids and teens get 60 minutes of physical activity a day. That’s one hour of energetic movement—enough to improve their heart health.

Here are some easy, fun tips to help you get your kids moving in ways that don’t feel like exercise.

Make Chores Fun

Taking out the trash, sweeping the floor, and putting away the toys can be… fun? Yes, they can! If you make chores into a game, your kids can get their exercise while learning how to be responsible too.

Encourage your kids to create a game out of their tasks by giving them a goal. For example, if they need to pick up their toys, tell them to pretend there’s a giant hole in the floor that’s growing, and they need to put away as many toys as they can before the hole swallows everything! See how fast chores get done when kids feel like they’re accomplishing something.

Find Seasonal Activities

The holidays are almost here, and family outings are the best way to be active together. Get some exercise with upcoming holiday events like the:

  • Holiday Windows Walk: From now until New Year’s Day, check out all of the major department store holiday displays in Midtown East for free. See NYC holiday windows from last year here.
  • New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show (NYBG): Head over to the Bronx and visit the NYBG’s annual holiday train show. Admire beautifully crafted displays of New York landmarks.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Kick off your holiday feast and watch the parade with your whole family. This fun family outing gets everyone on their feet to enjoy an annual tradition.

All these events will help your kids get on their feet and out of the house. Plus, walking is one of the best and easiest get-fit plans you can do with the whole family.

Stay Inside and Dance!

When it’s too hot (or too cold!) to go outside, your kids can get their exercise by grooving to their favorite music. Start a dance party, have a dance-off, or have your kids come up with a dance routine all their own for a dance recital right at home. The key is to get them moving in ways that inspire them.

Kids can also enjoy other activities inside, like jumping jacks or spinning a hula hoop. If you’re in an apartment that isn’t on the first floor, just be mindful of your downstairs neighbor!

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Do Free Exercises at Home

Exercise videos and routines don’t have to cost anything. If you search for “free exercise videos for smartphone,” there are plenty of results for all levels of ability. If you’re stuck at home, tune in to a free exercise video and watch as your kids have fun following along.

If you don’t have access to free exercise videos, you can get your kids moving even while watching TV by making a game of commercial breaks. For every commercial, see how many push-ups, jumping jacks, or yoga poses your kids can do.  During holiday breaks, you can also check out these family activities to wind down.

Make Healthy Choices

If your child spends too much time in front of the TV or phone, learn how to manage screen time. Remember, even small choices add up! You can help your kids get in all the exercise they need by encouraging them to make smart choices throughout the day: take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, get off the subway one stop early, walk instead of drive.

Do your kids love playing sports or being part of a team? Find free sports programs and clinics here and here.

If you get creative with how you approach exercise, you can get your kids moving and their hearts pumping, plus put smiles on their faces.


©2019 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“How Can I Help My Child Be More Physically Active?” American Heart Association. October 16, 2019.

“How much physical activity do children need?,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed October 16, 2019.

“Physical Education and Physical Activity,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed October 16, 2019.

“10 Ways to Exercise as a Family,” Parents. Accessed October 16, 2019.

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