It’s a good time to get more active outside, especially as a family

Photo by Fat Camera via Getty Images and Country Living

April is Move More Month, a natural as temperatures warm and outdoor activity is more pleasant. The American Heart Association recommends that children stay active throughout the day and that older youth get an hour of more vigorous physical activity daily.
Exercising as a family is a great way to show your children the importance of physical activity at an early age, the AHA says. Country Living magazine has a list of 40 simple but memorable famili activities for the spring. Here are four ways to get your family moving more this month.

  • Limit screen time. Setting boundaries to limit your kids’ screen time is a good place to start if you want your family to be more active. With less time to watch TV or play video games, kids will have to find other ways to entertain themselves. Try finding photo hunt apps and games for your kids that encourage spending screen time outside. Be ready to step in with some non-electronic ways to have fun and get them moving, too.
  • Exercise and play together. Set aside time to play and stay active as a family. Choosing activities to complete together can show your kids how fun exercise can be. Hiking a local trail or cycling around your neighborhood can be great ways to spend time outdoors while staying active. Consider going bowling or trying mini golf for a fun change of pace.
  • Buy toys that require activity. Getting kids to move more can be as simple as encouraging them to play with toys like kites, skateboards, jump ropes and other things that require movement. Consider gifting them these toys for birthdays and holidays. Keeping these toys near the front or back door in your house can also prompt your children to grab them before heading outside.
  • Think outside the box. Gardening and chores might not seem like exercise, but both are great ways to make sure your kids stay active. Planting and caring for a garden will give your kids a reason to spend time outside every day. Chores like raking leaves, shoveling snow and tidying up indoors can keep kids busy and on the move, and it gives you an opportunity to reward them once they’re done.

No matter how you choose to move more this month, make sure you get the whole family involved. The Heart Association has more tips and resources at, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information about the importance of physical activity for children at

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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