It can seem like a hopeless task sometimes to get your kids away from the TV or computer and out exercising. It's not necessarily impossible, though! Here are some ideas on how to get kids of various ages moving.

1. Participate

It isn't very encouraging when Mom and Dad are sitting around watching TV while you, the kid, have been sent out t o exercise. Make it a family program; everyone benefits from exercise.

2. Designate a purpose

Make your exercise mean something. Take regular family walks or hikes with a goal in mind – a landmark, a certain shop, a scenic overlook, a playground, and so forth.

3. Swing sets

If possible, put up a swing set or single swing in your yard. Kids of many ages like to swing.

4. Take up a sport

Try something like horseback riding that is challenging, different, fun, and can involve the whole family. Bike riding works well for families, too. If your kids like watching traditional sports like baseball on TV, find out how they can join a team.

5. Don't be afraid of the dirt

Don't let your fear of laundry get in the way of encouraging your kids to exercise. Let them get outside and dig and play in the dirt and worry about the laundry later.

6. Provide incentives

Get your kids up and moving by providing incentives – have them earn their TV time, computer time, and so forth by doing activities.

7. Help around the house

Even housework is exercise. Designate different chores for your kids to do, and provide rewards and incentives for getting it done. Set up rules so that the privileges can't be indulged until the chores are done.

8. Have an electronic-free day

Once a week (at least), turn off all TVs, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices. During this time, have an activity scheduled and planned such as a nature hike, picnic, outdoor project, etc.

9. Make the time

Exercise can become a habit just like sitting around can. Designate a special, regular time during which you do physical activity with your kids and family. This will become so ingrained that it will be second nature after a while. This helps instill good habits in your kids that will last a lifetime.

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