1. "They've been playing all day; they can watch a little TV."It's true—a little TV doesn't hurt. But too often, a little becomes a lot. And even a little can interfere with active play. If your child really has been playing hard all day, cuddle up on the couch together. But if she's been busy with books and board games, share some active together-time instead.
2. "We'll just take the car."
3. "He gets plenty of exercise at recess."If only! It's true that recess offers many benefits to kids—physical, behavioral, and academic. But it's very unlikely that your child gets a full hour of free play time at school. He might not even get any: Only 8 U.S. states have laws requiring daily recess. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) suggests a minimum of one 20-minute recess period per day for school-age kids. And that should be in addition to at least 150 minutes a week of physical education time. Ask about your child's recess and PE schedule. You may be surprised at what you learn.
4. "I never have time to work out."
5. "My kid isn't overweight."Every child needs daily physical activity, whether her weight is at, above, or below average. While exercise can help kids lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it offers many other benefits unrelated to the number on the scale. Physical activity can boost children's mental health and lower their blood pressure. It builds and strengthens bones, joints, and muscles. It promotes social development and good behavior too.
6. "She just doesn't like sports."
7. "It's too cold/wet/unsafe to play outside."
I'll admit this can be a tough one. Where I live, winters are long, icy, and dark. Sometimes my kids and I just want to hibernate inside. When summer does roll around, we have access to a backyard, parks, and a community pool, but other families may not.
Still, no matter your environment, you do have fitness options. If you can't play at home, go on an active outing. If you don't have the cold-weather or rain gear you need to play outside, be active indoors. If your budget is stretched, look for cheap fitness fun.