Exercises for adults and children

A great way of both you and your child achieving your recommended level of physical activity is to do things to together that involves physical activity.

Health benefits of being physically active

Keeping physically active brings many health benefits.

As an adult, you may be increasing your activity with the aim of:

  • losing weight
  • reducing your risk of a number of health conditions

For children, regular physical activity is also important for:

  • growing up to have strong bones and muscles
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • building their confidence

Exercises for adults and children

Begin to think of you and your child's free time, usually evenings and weekends, as an opportunity for active play and exercise rather than downtime to watch TV or to let your kids play computer games.

Active play is essential for a young child's development. It can be anything from a specific sport to playing simple games at home like:

  • hide and seek
  • chasing
  • throwing and catching a ball

You can also try taking up a new hobby or sport that you can do together. Ask your child what they would like to do. They might already have an activity in mind that they want to start. If not, there are many fun activities or sports you can do as a family. You could consider:

Getting started

If you don't feel ready to take up a sport, start small by incorporating physical activity into your family's daily routine. You could try:

  • walking or cycling to school instead of taking the car
  • walking the dog as a family
  • going on treasure hunts
  • doing some heavy housework
  • gardening together

Staying motivated to exercise

There are ways you can help keep your family motivated to exercise.


  • schedule in time for physical activity
  • set aside certain days of the week for physical activities
  • reschedule an activity instead of cancelling if a conflict comes up
  • set a common goal - if your child is old enough to take part, look out for upcoming local charity walks or runs that you can work towards and do as a family

Last updated:
30 November 2022

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