As things get back to normal after a long stretch where everyone stayed inside, it’s important to get kids back into a routine of physical activity.

Exercise keeps kids physically and mentally healthy. Children need at least one hour of physical activity a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being physically active improves the immune system, makes bones stronger, and decreases risks of diseases later in life.

Starting exercise at a young age can prevent certain types of cancers and will help blood pressure and bone density well into adulthood. Happily, Arizonans can take advantage of beautiful weather all winter long, so there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. From taking a walk to joining a sports team, here are a few options to get kids out and about.

Play Outside

Don’t let youngsters waste the day sitting inside watching TV. Find fun outdoor activities for kids like rollerblading, biking, or jumping rope. An entertaining game of hopscotch or tag will get your kid moving instantly. They won’t even know they’re exercising with all the fun they’re having.

Walk the Dog

Instead of letting the dog out in the backyard, go for a walk! Your dog needs exercise just as much as your child. Use the dog as an excuse for some fresh air and to get active.

Do Gymnastics

Get your kid’s heart pumping while gaining flexibility, balance, and coordination. Gymnastics benefits kids by teaching motor skills and self-confidence. Learning to listen and being disciplined can develop self-control at a young age.

Go to a Park

Playing catch or swinging on the monkey bars at the park will get your child moving around. The park is full of different types of activities both you and your child can have fun with. Add in even more exercise by walking to the local park instead of driving the car.

Join a Competitive Sports League

Bringing in a competitive nature to exercise will benefit your child greatly. Not only do sports teams create responsibility and teamwork, but competitiveness can teach valuable lessons. By challenging themselves, kids can improve their self-esteem, which will benefit them the rest of their lives.

Get Everyone Involved

Parents should lead by example. If adults are doing it, chances are kids will want to, too. Get the whole family moving and walk a 5K for a charity event. Or, put everyone to work by doing household chores. Vacuuming the floors, cleaning their rooms, and doing the dishes are all great ways to get kids involved with an added bonus of a clean house.

Exercising doesn’t have to be boring; make it fun by including a hobby or sport that interests your child. The one hour a day of recommended physical activity will fly by with any of the above enjoyable ideas.