Better Fitness For Your Family

"Kids will tell you things when they're out playing with you that they may not tell you otherwise," Gatto said. "Maybe it's the relaxed setting. It's more comfortable, so they bring things up. You're building a better relationship with your child."

Richards said she recently had a "teen conversation" with Tyler while they were walking on the trail.

"It probably would not have happened if we were in the house," Richards said. "I think it was because we were feeling confident and happy and there was no stress and no distractions."

On bad weather days, have fun exercise videos available and do them with your child.

Consider day trips that include physical activity, such as hiking at state parks, Gatto said. Vacations may include hiking, swimming, canoeing and other activities that can build bodies, confidence and healthy family relationships, Gatto said.

"Having fun and living longer is a good thing," Brie said. "So you want to teach your kids to do it."

Get out and play

Here's advice from Tyler Hines, 14, and his sister, Brie, 10, for kids who want to play outside more:

-Just go out

-Start by just going out.

-"It's not really something you need to decide on," Brie said. "Just go outside and start running around and you'll feel better. If you stay inside and watch a movie, even if it's good, you're not really doing anything."

-Find something you enjoy

-To stay outside, find an activity you enjoy because you'll be more likely to do it again, Tyler said. It's even better if it's an activity that you can do for the rest of your life, he said.

-Tell your friends

-If you enjoy doing an activity--whether it's bike riding, Rollerblading, whatever--and your friends see that, they'll want to join in, Tyler said. Suddenly, something that you enjoy doing by yourself or with your family becomes even more fun because your friends are doing it too.

-Personalize the game

-Add things to make the activity more fun. Make up your own ball game. Make your own obstacle course. If you're going for a run, put on headphones to listen to music. On a bad-weather day, pump up the volume inside and just dance.


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