Kids’ fitness week: Tips to get your kids to enjoy fitness starting at an early age

Many adults have a good knowledge about fitness for themselves, but when it comes to their own kids they don’t make the grade. This week I’ll take a look at some fitness tips for kids, continuing today with tips to help your kids enjoy fitness from an early age.

Introduce active games at an early age – When kids are in preschool and grade school, get them involved in games or activities where the focus is on fun and they’re running, jumping, riding, kicking, etc., and developing skills that can be used in a variety of sports.
Wait to specialize – I think it’s best for kids to be exposed to many different sports, even if dad was a diehard baseball player, or mom was a college swimmer. Parents will likely expose their kids to sports they liked, but also should let them try other activities. It will help them see what they like to do and also build coordination and fitness by developing a wide variety of skills.
Practice sports at home — Make sure your child has at least some experience in a sport before signing them up for the local little league, whether it means to give them some lessons or invite a favorite aunt, uncle or friend over. Even a few times playing a sport in your own back yard will help them feel a little better before going to an organized practice.
Exercise as a family – If the parents are sitting around on the couch all weekend, there’s a better a chance the kids will lounge around, too. Instead, plan family activities that center around physical activity, like hiking or biking, or even traditions like going on after-dinner walks as a family
Focus on fun – Whatever physical activities your kids are doing, make sure the focus stays on having fun. Little League team sports can get serious in a hurry, but win or lose make sure your kids know it’s a game – and games are supposed to be fun.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at