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Motivate Your Child to Exercise

It's the middle of July and your tween is sitting inside playing the latest video game. So how do you get them to stand up and join the land of the (active) living? Instead of telling them to just "go outside," present them with a few fun-filled activities that will keep their heart and mind active.

Bowling

Take your child to your town's bowling alley. Invite the rest of your family, and encourage her to bring one or two of her friends. Participating in an afternoon of bowling gives your child a chance to be active without her feeling as if you are forcing her to exercise. It is important to make physical activity fun.

Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of stores in your local mall, with kid-friendly items that are specific to each one. Create a scavenger hunt for your child so he has to find each item on the list in the order it's written. Walk around the mall with your child, and have him check off each object as he discovers it. Offer your child a prize, such as a new toy or 15 minutes at the mall arcade, for completing the scavenger hunt.

Video Games

You don't have to completely eliminate video games to help your child become active. Some games offer your child exercise, making your child move in a variety of sports games like golf and tennis. If your child enjoys dancing, consider one of the many active dance video games available.

Plant a Garden

Adults often do yard work to stay in shape; therefore, children can also benefit from planting a garden. Go to a home improvement store with your child, and visit the gardening center. Select flowers or vegetables in addition to soil and a watering can. Plant a garden in your yard with your child, and give her the responsibility of tending the plants. If you selected a vegetable garden, let your child distribute the produce among your neighbors after the vegetables grow.

Pool Activities

Most kids enjoy going to the pool in the summer. If you don't have a personal pool at your home, purchase a membership at your local community center or YMCA. Take your child to the pool often, as he will receive a workout while he plays in the water.

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