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?
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
|Kids 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.|
|American 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.|
|Why Exercise Is Cool Exercise can help keep a kid's body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.|
|Easy Exercises for Teens Finding it hard to fit in fitness? Try these easy exercises for teens.|
|Fitness and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old School-age kids need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.|
|Kids and Exercise Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.|
|Overweight and Obesity It's an alarming statistic: 1 out of 3 U.S. kids are considered overweight or obese. Find out how to overcome overweight and obesity in your own family.|
|How Can I Get Motivated to Exercise? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|It's Time to Play If you're a kid, playing is your job. But sometimes you need a few ideas to get you going. Find them here in this article.|
|Fitness for Kids Who Don't Like Sports Some kids aren't natural athletes and they may say they just don't like sports. What then?|
|Motivating Kids to Be Active Parents can help instill a love of activity and help kids make it a part of their everyday routine.|
|Be a Fit Kid A lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and maintain a healthy weight.|
|Why Exercise Is Wise Getting the right amount of exercise can rev up your energy levels and even help you to feel better emotionally. Find out why.|
|Getting Exercise in College All those hours of studying burn mental energy, but both your body and mind need physical exercise to function at their peak.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.