1)      Organized sports – Whether encouraging your child to join a sports team through their school or town league, organized sports is an easy way for children to have fun and stay fit. Not only will children learn valuable lessons such as hard work, teamwork, and commitment that come with playing on a team, they will also have important opportunities to socialize outside of the school setting.

2)      Swimming lessons – Many children truly enjoy the summer for the opportunities to go swimming. Fortunately, there are many organizations and gyms that offer swimming lessons for children all year round, not just in the summer. If swimming is something your child is passionate about, look into indoor swim lessons. Swimming is a great way to exercise and if attending a group lesson, another way for children to socialize with others their own age.

3)      Zumba – The new hype of Zumba is now available for children, typically ages 7-11. The Zumba Kids program is a dance-fitness party which features age-appropriate music and moves. Zumba is currently offering a second class for younger children called Zumba Kids Jr. This program is intended for children aged 4-6 and offers them a chance to socialize, play games and dance to age-appropriate music. Both courses are great opportunities for children to get fit without it feeling like a workout.

4)      Outdoor play – There are countless games and activities for children of all ages to do outside, either with a sibling or a friend or a larger group of children. It is important to encourage children to play outside. Even if they are just going outside to play on a swing set, shoot a few basketballs or ride their bike, getting children off the couch, and up and doing something is the first step to proper fitness.

5)      Limit screen time – Of course, providing entertaining activities for children to do is the best way to encourage a healthy lifestyle, but it is just as critical to emphasize the importance of reducing screen time. With the abundance of technology now available to young children, it is easy for them to get caught up in reading off a screen, watching an excessive amount of television, or playing video games and losing out on the importance of being physically active.