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Enjoy cultivating an active style of life for you and your family.

Healthy kids. Healthy families.
Physical activity can make the connection.

It’s worth it.

Physical activity builds a great foundation for a healthy life. It’s a win/win event for you and your child. Physical activity can:

  • Increase self-esteem and capacity for learning.

  • Help kids handle stress.

  • Build and maintain healthy bones, muscles
    and joints.

  • Help control weight.

Experience active family fun.
Create family traditions and lasting memories.

Time together is time that’s treasured. Try:

Family Adventures See the sights of your community. Try hiking, fishing, canoeing, and berry-picking. Discover the public parks. Visit the zoo. Explore outdoor tourist attractions.

Family Fitness Vacations Plan an active get-away. Swim at the beach or bike on a scenic trail. Hike or camp in the mountains. Explore state and national parks. Raft down a river. Take a walking tour of a city.

The Gift of Physical Activity Give a present that encourages activity. Outfit that special someone with a swimsuit or pair of athletic shoes. Select toys that make you move, such as a basketball or bicycle.

Seasonal Celebrations Welcome each one with fun.
Winter: Go sledding or build a snowman.
Spring: Play whiffle ball or fly a kite.
Summer: Run through the sprinkler or jump rope.
Fall: Play Frisbee golf or hike through a pumpkin patch.

Community Service Benefit others while benefiting yourself—volunteer as a family. Do litter patrol on a nearby road, help neighbors rake their yard or team up to clean up a favorite park.

Find the right fit.

Organized activities, such as lessons, clubs and teams, can be a positive experience if they match your child’s interests and personality. Before signing up, check out the program and answer the following questions. A majority of “yes” answers suggests enjoyment for your child.

  • Does my child’s skill level and size match the rest of the group?

  • Are the challenges and expectations appropriate for my child?

  • Are all children given meaningful opportunities to learn skills and participate fully?

  • Is there a focus on development of fair play, teamwork, sportsmanship, and having fun?

  • Does the activity leader provide encouragement and positive feedback?

  • Are all children treated with respect?

It’s not just an action, it’s a lifestyle.

Walk and Talk Instead of sitting at the table to do homework, take a walk with your child while practicing spelling words, multiplication tables or geography facts.

Household Jobs Encourage responsibility and home maintenance skills by having your children help vacuum, scrub floors, mow the lawn, walk the dog, wash the car and more.

Indoor Fun Designate a space where kids can roll, climb, jump, dance and tumble. Garages — without cars — can become an activity zone on rainy or snowy days.

Traveling Locker Room Stash a box in the family car that holds balls, baseball gloves, a jump rope, Frisbee, kite, etc. You’ll always be ready for fun.

Experience the fun together.
Kids just need to play. And so do you.


For more ideas to foster strong kids and families: Explore the wonderful tips!  Is the health, physical activity, fitness and sports information Website of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. You can find out about the Council and its work, view our publications, and link to the resources of other government agencies as well as to health and fitness organizations. Links to nutrition and physical activity, diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity articles

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Foundation
MetLife Foundation 


Resources To Encourage a  Lifetime of Movement:

  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest has developed a series of excellent healthy living products. They are the Cultivating HealthWeight Management Kit, the Cultivating Health™ Freedom from Tobacco Kit, the Cultivating Health™ Managing Stress Kit, the Cultivating Health™ Everyday Fitness Kit, and the Cultivating Health™ Childbirth Refresher Kit. They are filled with practical, helpful information.

    You can order many excellent products directly from Kaiser Permanente. Call the Health Education Services at 503-286-6816. They can be charged and be shipped directly to you for a 15% mailing charge.


  • Biomarkers-The 10 Keys To Prolonging Vitality, by William Evens, Ph.D. and Irwin H. Rosenberg, M.D., (1991), A Fireside Book Published by Simon & Schuster

  • 365 Activities for Fitness, Food and Fun for the Whole Family, Ideas to help your family get fit, avoid boredom, and have fun, Julia Sweet, (2001), McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books

  • 365 TV-FREE Activities you Can Do With Your Child, by Steve & Ruth Bennett. Plus 50 all-new bonus activities! (2002), by Adams Media Corporation. An AMAZING collection of things to do with your child! Lots of FUN!

  • I Know I Should Exercise, But…” Seven steps to remove your “but” from activity planning. (1998), Joe Sweeney, Pacific Valley Press

  • It’s Your Move, by Robert Sweetgall & Robert Neeves, (2002), Creative Walking, Inc., 1-800-762-9255; Walk The Four Seasons- Walking and Cross-Training Logbook, (1992), :"Get Off Your Ass And Start Moving Around!"  Robert's It's Your Move book is chocked full of motivating and enjoyable ways to be active for a lifetime. His web site is good fun too!

  • Sports Nutrition Guidebook – Eating to Fuel Your Active Lifestyle, (1997), by Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., Human Kinetics Press

  • Stretching, by Bob Anderson, (2010), Shelter Publications, Inc. Tips for everyday fitness and most sports. Clear illustrations are easy to follow.

  • Easy Does It Yoga, Safe and gentle yoga for those challenged by age, chronic health problems, injury, or inactivity. Alice Christensen, (1999), American Yoga Association

  • Yoga For Wimps: Poses for the Flexibly Impaired, by  Miriam Austin, (2000), Sterling Publishing ;

  • Exercise Videos: Collage Video has hundreds of videos and DVD options from physical limitations to aerobics, strength, and flexibility. Free catalog. 1-800-433-6769;

  • Exercise: A guide from the National Institute on Aging. This exercise video addresses strength, flexibility, and balance for beginners or those over 50. Includes an 80-page booklet, which is available separately free upon request. Contact: NIAIC, Dept. W, P.O. Box 8057, Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057, 1-800-222-2225 Also, search for the Go4Life DVD. It's free!

  • National Center for Physical Activity and Disability, Phone them to describe your needs and personalized resources can be sent to you. Web site has information on adapting physical activity to the needs of people with disabilities, support groups, and more. 1-800-900-8086, See the Exercise with Health Challenges section of this web site.

  • Walking Sticks (Exerstrider®) have many benefits for people who are beginning a walking program. Visit:

    • Strengthen abdominal, back, arm, shoulder, chest & leg muscles
      Burn up to 70% more calories
      Increase cardiovascular fitness
      Improve overall stamina and muscle endurance
      Improve lymph system function
      Reduce injury causing stress on hips, knees and feet
      Help maintain overall bone density
      Maintain joint health and range of motion
      Improve posture and balance
      Enhance energy and mood
      Enjoy fun, convenient fresh-air total body exercise

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!