When we think of exercise, many of us groan. Going to the gym, fitting a run into your day, or going on a bike ride don’t always make the top of our priority list. Exercise can seem like a dirty word to grownups who aren’t naturally inclined to enjoy sweating. But it’s important for parents to know that physical activity is really crucial for child development.

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Kids

Physical activity helps children develop and strengthen muscles, bones, fine motor skills, and even social skills. Implementing exercise at an early age can also prevent bone-related diseases, obesity, and high blood pressure later on in life. Regular physical activity can also help kids sleep better at night and concentrate during the day.

In our world of screens galore, it’s important to prioritize physical activity with your kids. You don’t need to label this exercise (although you can if you want to!); just carve out time to have fun doing something active. Go on evening walks as a family, play tag outside, jump rope, ride bikes, play basketball or soccer, swim, or whatever else your family enjoys and has access to.

If this isn’t something your kids are used to, slowly introduce physical activities throughout the week, until the practice becomes a habit. At first, your kids may complain or ask to play on the iPad instead, but don’t give up. After a few weeks of consistent family “exercise,” we have a feeling your kids will love this new part of your routine. Involve your kids by asking them what activity they like best, or let each child have a day of the week where he or she gets to pick the activity.

Physical activity is good for every human, no matter how young or old. Have fun making new memories and enjoying a good family sweat!