Get your kids movin' with outside-of-the-box moves

Oct 18, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Do you find it really difficult to rouse your child off the couch to get some exercise? Studies show that more and more children are overweight — obese even. If you want to get your child excited about working out, have him try something on the creative side. From skateboarding to Wii fitness to yoga, these outside-of-the-box activities are more of a workout than you may have realized.

Is your child about as interested in the idea of working out as he is in doing math homework on a Saturday morning? The good news is there are some fun ways to get your child movin'.

In fact, some schools are even getting in on the act and upping the ante on their phys ed classes. The idea is to focus on individual challenges instead of team competitions. In other words, ditch dodgeball for skateboarding. Be on the lookout. You might soon see individual sports such as inline skating, mountain biking and even ice skating popping up at your child's school.

Experts agree that a child gets more out of an individual sport like skateboarding — and it stays with him far longer in life — than a group activity such as the ever-popular schoolyard game, dodgeball. With a nationwide obesity crisis, educators and parents are looking for any and all creative ways to move kids from the couch to the concrete.

So why not follow suit at home? A child is far more likely to want to go outside and imitate Tony Hawk (helmet, pads and all, of course) than he is to willingly run around the track or do sit-ups.

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Pad up, people! Skateboarding is a great way for a child to burn calories, not to mention build muscle and strengthen his core area. What you'll need for a beginner: Skateboard, helmet, elbow and knee pads.

Rock climbing

Over the past few years, rock walls have popped up at parks and recreational facilities. For a nominal fee, your child will work every last one of his muscles as he attempts to scale a wall (no easy feat).

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Wii sports and Wii fitness

Finally, video games a parent will encourage his child to play. The Wii sports and fitness games encourage kids to move all parts of their body while simulating sports like tennis and exercise like aerobics and fitness courses.


This one might be a bit harder to sell your child on, but if you're a yogi, it can be something you can do together. Or if you've never tried it before, make yoga something you and your child experience for the first time together. What you'll need: A mat and a beginner yoga instructional video. Or sign up for a family yoga class.

More ways to help your kids stay fit

How to make exercise fun for kids
Healthy eating habits for kids
How is sugar hurting your kids?