The key to keeping kids interested in fitness is to make it fun and relevant. Just don’t call it exercise!

Anyone who has seen children at the local playground knows that most are naturally active and love to run around. However, as they get older, it can be a challenge for kids to get enough daily activity. Busy working families, increasing demands of school, insecurity about sporting ability, and a lack of active role models are some of the reasons why childhood obesity continues to rise.

Despite these challenges, it is still easy to instil a love of activity in a child’s daily life by integrating it into their everyday routine.

When I teach our pre-school LivelyGrooves dance program, the kids have so much fun that they don’t even realise its exercise! Every lesson I make a point of asking the kids how they are feeling. By passionately promoting what we do is fun, the kids quickly discover that not only is active play good for them but also makes them happy!

Trick them into exercise by applying these KISS tips:

Focus on fun – find out which activities your kids enjoy and encourage them to do a little each day. Dance in the living room, explore the outdoors on a family field trip, or go on a scavenger hunt.

Be spontaneous – When my own fitness schedule becomes mundane and routine, I simply loose interest. This is the same for kids, so try to vary the routine and encourage them to try something new. They will be so fixated on exploring all their new senses that they won’t realise that they are exercising.

Create your very own ‘Bucket List’ – keep it on your fridge and tick each activity off as you complete them.

Use a stopwatch – give your kids the responsibility of helping you exercise. This will not only be great encouragement for you but will also give them a sense of purpose. Ask them to hold the stopwatch while you swim laps, or do time trials and races.

Consider your child’s personality – understanding your child’s personality traits, genetics and athletic ability will help you choose the right activity for them, and the one that gives them the most enjoyment.

Choose age appropriate activities – five year olds don’t have the same attention span at teenagers so short bursts of play several times a day is more effective than one long stretch of physical activity.

Get excited and be positive – your positive attitude will have a direct correlation on the children around you. Kids won’t do something that don’t enjoy so make it look like fun!

Healthy, Active, Happy: That’s the Livelyhood way of Living!

How do you go about getting your kids interested in fitness?

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • I recently attended training to be an after school activities coach and this is what they talked about making it fun and games while they are learning a skill eg ok who bounce the ball while walking on the line let’s have a go, right how many bounces did you do – ok let’s do it again – can you beat your score – then they are only competing against themselves. Get them moving and they will be happy.


  • My grandchildren are lucky enough to live within walking distance of two children’s playgrounds where they love to run, climb, skip, cycle, or kick a ball around. They don’t need to be tricked into being active, they beg to do it.


  • My girls enjoy a good dance around the lounge.


  • I’m lucky, my kids love exercise even if you DO call it exercise.


  • Just simply keeping every thing fun. I run around the house with the lo and we both get very tired afterwards!


  • Great tips. Thanks for sharing.


  • there is always a little more satisfaction when you have tricked them, and it is still fun and enjoyable at the same time


  • my grand daughter loves her exercise so I don’t need to trick her – she is so active!


  • My goal is to make exercise something part of my girls lives.


  • This was a great read, thanks for posting.


  • Great read! Thank you for sharing


  • Wonderful advice, a very motivational article.


  • StopwTch works well my kids love beating there time!


  • Great Read thanks for sharing


  • WHen I first saw kiddy exercise bikes it freaked me out a little kids need fresh air and open spaces to play their imagination is the best workout tool around, plant a tree when they are born and watch them climb it when they are 10!

    • Unbelievable they have kiddies exercise bikes, A great time and fun to be had the park I say instead.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating