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How to Get Your Family to Exercise
family riding bikes

How to Get Your Family to Exercise

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


The statistics on growing obesity among children may get your heart pumping in panic, but that won’t help your little ones if they’re getting bigger than they should. What’s a mom worried about high cholesterol, diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses to do?

family relaxing on couch smiling

First, relax. While the problem is large, there are small steps you and your family can take to make wellness a part of your everyday routine.

family dancing

Make exercise fun. Turn on the music and encourage the kids to dance around while helping to set the table, clean the kitchen or do other chores. A mini trampoline can get the heart working at home if you live in a busy area where you don’t want your kids riding bikes or playing ball in the street.

family eating dinner together

Set regular eating times. This can be tough when you’re running one kid to soccer and another to band practice, but a routine of regular meals helps curb reliance on fast food and to-go snacks that can be higher in fat and calories.

mother and child cooking together

Practice what you preach. If you’re telling your kids to stop snacking, but you’re still loading the grocery cart with chips, you’re sending mixed messages. Even when children don’t seem to be paying attention, they are. If they see you eat well, they’ll be more likely to do so too, Freeze says.

family taking a walk together

Count steps. Use a pedometer for both kids and adults. Math-minded kids may like being able to see the numbers increase with every step they take. Walking soon becomes a game.

mother and daughter preparing vegetables together

Don’t be bothered by variety. The idea of eating broccoli every night may bore you to tears, but if it’s the only veggie your kid will down, serve it up. Let your child take ownership of the dish, finding new ways to prepare and serve it.

cooking with vegetables

Be sneaky. A vegetable in spaghetti sauce is better than no veggie at all. Try introducing a new vegetable into a favorite recipe. Once it’s accepted, expand its repertoire.


Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.