Should I Start My Child on an Exercise Program?

Should I Start My Child on an Exercise Program?

My 12-year-old son is gaining weight quite rapidly. He was always "just right" until middle-school homework cut into his play time. Should I start him on an exercise program?
- Rose

As kids get older, they often have more homework and other responsibilities to balance.

Help your son make a schedule, such as an hour of playtime after school, followed by time for homework. Encourage him to get involved in an activity he enjoys, whether it's a team sport like basketball or soccer or just biking around the neighborhood with friends. He'll be more likely to stick with it if it doesn't feel like a chore.

Keep lots of healthy foods in the house and be a good role model — he'll see how important exercise is if you make time for it too.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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OrganizationKids Sports Network This organization promotes quality nonschool sports and fitness for children between the ages of 3 and 19 through coaches, education, special events and activities, public awareness, and regular networking with youth sports organizations and agencies.
OrganizationAmerican Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.
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