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Fitness Tips for Kids

When you are by yourself, some fun ways to exercise are rollerblading, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, skateboarding, playing hacky sack or even walking to the store.

When you are with a friend, you can have races, have a catch, play Frisbee, ride bikes together, go for a walk in the woods together, play basketball or tennis.

When there are lots of kids, you can play a sport like baseball, basketball, kick ball, or football or play tag , hide and seek or jail break.

The more you exercise, the stronger you will be and the better you will feel. It is good to have physical activity at least 30 minutes per day.

In addition to having fun with exercise, there are other important ways to be healthy and strong:

  • Start your day with breakfast
    Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy to prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night's pizza!

  • Get Moving!
    It's easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb the stairs when you are at school. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.

  • Snack smart
    Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups - a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.

  • Work up a sweat
    Vigorous work-outs - when you're breathing hard and sweating - help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. When you exercise and your heart beats faster, it's called aerobic exercise, such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with some stretching and deep breathing.

  • Balance your food choices
    Don't eat too much of any one thing. You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.

  • Get fit with friends or family
    Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike ride or hiking, with a group each week.

  • Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables
    These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
    Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.

  • Make healthy eating and physical activities fun
    Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous - try new sports, games and other activities as well as new foods. You'll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals - don't try changing too much at once.

Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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Last Modified: Monday, 28-Jul-14 09:39:17