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7 solutions to keep kids active in the summertime

By Leslie Harker | Posted - Jun. 13, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Keeping the kids active is a new challenge every day of summer, but there are ways to do it. In this week's Your Life Your Health segment: 7 solutions on summer exercise that won't cost you a dime.

1. Have routine with flexibility

Try to establish a certain amount of time each day that your children are out and about, enjoying activity and the outdoors. This time should include structured activities, but also free play. Let kids exercise their imaginations.

2. Have variety

Do a different activity than you did yesterday. Strive for activities that include cardio, strength, balance and flexibly training. For example, try a backyard obstacle course using items from around the house.

3. Make work play

How many times can you run up and down stairs to get your chores done? Who's going to get the most points for emptying garbage cans? Simple games like this can be active and engaging for children.

4. Involve others

What child wants to play by themselves? Included friends, and definitely include the whole family.

5. "Do as I say and as I do" is no good

Make activity a family affair and lead by example. When your kids go on a bike ride, put a helmet on them — and then put a helmet on yourself and go with them.

6. Limit screen time

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests children should not be in front of a screen for more than 2 hours a day, and that's a maximum. For younger children, the recommendation is one hour a day; and no TV for babies.

7. Think safety in all activities

If we're not safe in what we're doing, we have not accomplished anything. Ask yourself: Is the environment safe? Are we keeping our children hydrated? Are we using sunscreen?

The most important point here is supervision. Adequate supervision can prevent so many tragic events.

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