When I grew up, you went outside to play. We would get up on a Saturday or Sunday, eat breakfast and be gone until lunch (if we made it back from the playground). Then we were back out as soon as lunch was over and we had to be home by the time the streetlights came on. We played hard and we were beat (and a little scraped up and dirty) when we got home for bedtime.

For some reason, exercise for kids doesn’t seem to be a priority in family life. We’re all busy with our jobs, extra-curricular activities, and life, but how was it that families twenty years ago made it a priority.

There are a plethora of benefits when it comes to exercise for kids. Exercise keeps children healthy and active, but it can also greatly affect their future health. Kids that exercise and eat right are far more likely to choose a healthy lifestyle when they become adults that those who are inactive. They are also less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses as adults. It has also been shown to improve sleeping habits, social skill development, confidence and self-esteem, and school grades.

And when a kid is active at least 30 minutes a day, it’s nearly impossible for them to fall into the childhood obesity category.

Parents have endless options if they notice their children don’t get enough exercise. The most inexpensive option is for parents to execute exercises themselves either in the home or the yard. Simple ideas like a relay race or a scavenger hunt will keeps kids active and entertained. There are even exercises for kids that include craft time to motivate creativity.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to put together an exercise routine for children. For those who have busy schedules, it may be wise to evaluate priorities to see where exercise for kids fits in the daily routine. Most parents agree there is little more important than their child’s health.