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Mr. Peabody explains how to make exercise fun for kids

A reader asks the esteemed Mr. Peabody:

My daughter doesn’t like playing any sports. How do I make sure she stays healthy and fit and keep things fun for her?

While it’s true that those who play sports usually have a ball, it’s not a slam-dunk for everyone. (I, for one, used to have a fear of hurdles — but I got over it.) Even so, there are many compelling reasons for kids to stay active, from building strong muscles and weight management to sleeping better and just having a better outlook on life. This, in turn, translates into young people who are more likely to be on their toes in school.

But what do you do if your child would rather be first on the couch than first off the starting block? It’s your parental duty to step up to the plate and put a game plan together. While she may not be interested in sports, there are plenty of other things she can do to keep moving and have a gratifying time in the process.

Take a hike

Years ago, I fancied myself to be a young George Mallory and took pleasure in climbing Mt. Everest… but I was much “boulder” then. Even so, these days, nothing can stop Sherman and me from taking a refreshing hike in the hills that are just a stone’s throw away. It’s a great way for us to catch up on things, to clear our heads when things get stressful and to keep our relationship rock solid. I don’t take these special moments for “granite!”

Plan an adventure on two wheels

One of my favorite memories is the day Sherman and I rode a tandem bike along the many canals in Amsterdam. We saw the sights, had some lunch and stopped to see my friend Vincent’s latest artwork. We made a day of it, and why not? On the bike, it was so easy to just get up and Van Gogh!

Run up the stairs

The last time Sherman and I encountered Rome’s famous Spanish Steps (all 135 of them!), we made a game out of it: Who was the fastest? Who could take the stairs two at a time? We hopped, skipped and jumped our way to the top. We were dog-tired once we got there, but it was howling good fun!

Do a little dance

When I invented Zumba, I wasn’t concerned with what people thought of my dance moves (even though they’re superb). I just let the music move my feet… and the rest is history. So crank up the catchy tunes, put your best foot forward and get in step with your daughter. Dancing is good for your soul — if not always good for your soles!

Mr. Peabody & Sherman arrives on Digital HD on Sept. 23 and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 14.

More Mr. Peabody

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