Active at Home - Action for Healthy Kids
Open Search

Active at Home

Making fitness a family affair

When the kids are in school and sports and after-school activities have ramped up, you may feel like the pressure is off to keep them active and entertained. And it’s true that kids may be getting more structured physical activity than they do during the summer months, but maintaining healthy family habits all year round helps keep kids on track —and off the couch. It also makes for great family bonding. Enjoy these tips and ideas for making fitness a family affair.

family on a run together

Get into a routine

  • Walk or bike to school together, if your schedules allow.
  • Take a family walk around the block or neighborhood after dinner.
  • Play upbeat music and dance your way through family chores.

Play Together

Instead of going to a movie or restaurant for your next family outing, plan something active:

  • Explore free and low-cost physical activity options near your home (forest preserves, parks, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts).
  • Spend an afternoon at the local playground or find a park with a walking path and fitness course.
  • Play a round of miniature golf or go to the batting cages together.

Set Family Fitness Goals

  • Post goals on the fridge, along with a way to track everyone’s progress. Cheer each other on as you achieve your goals—and maybe even offer some non-food prizes!
  • Buy inexpensive pedometers or use your personal health trackers and have a contest to see who takes the most steps in a given week.
  • ‘Tis the season for charity walks and runs! Train as a family for a 5K or 10K, and cook or go out for a nourishing breakfast afterward to celebrate your accomplishment.

Screen Your Screen Time

We’re all prone to the lure of the screen, whether it’s the TV, cell phone, computer or other personal devices. But whenever you can, get your kids to ditch the screens and use those minutes and hours to hang out, get moving and recharge together as a family.

  • Challenge your kids to sign up for some form of physical activity through school or a local program. Everyone can find something they enjoy.
  • Limit sedentary screen time (computers, tablets, phones, video games, TV) to no more than two hours per day.
  • Many families use the following rule: no video games or computers (except for homework) on school nights, only two hours of TV on weekends, and only 14 hours of screen time overall.
  • Challenge your family to skip the screen for a full week. If that’s too extreme, start by trying Screen-Free Weekends, Screen-Free Saturdays, or even a Screen-Free Night.

Check out how Meghan gets the whole family in on fitness.