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Now that kids are back in school, many parents are revisiting their routines: How do you juggle the commitments and make space for healthy habits? How do you solve for times of boredom? What ways can you connect as a family amidst busy schedules?

In partnership with Life Time, OnePoll recently conducted a survey of 2,000 parents with kids between the ages 0 and 18, to better understand the challenges they are facing — and what their wishes are — around physical activity as they embrace the change in season and regimens.

In this survey, 83 percent of parents said they have the most fun when they get to spend time with their kids; most of them (80 percent) want to inspire their kids to try more physical activities. Other insights include the following:

  • 89 percent of parents like to be active with their kids by playing sports or spending time outside.
  • 78 percent said seeing their kids be active inspires them to get active.
  • 76 percent are looking for new ways to connect with their kids.
  • 64 percent of parents wish their kids were more active than they already are.
  • 22 percent of parents would rate the physical health of their kids as “average,” “poor,” or “very poor.”
  • Parents’ favorite activities to do with their kids are playing basketball (36 percent), dancing (34 percent), and swimming lessons (32 percent).

In regard to introducing more activity into their kids’ routines, survey respondents noted a couple of obstacles: On average, parents estimated that their kids spend less than an hour a day being active, and 51 percent of parents agreed it’s difficult for their kids to enjoy an activity without getting bored.

The upside is that 73 percent of parents also said their child is fearless when presented with the opportunity to try something new, and most parents — 79 percent — are also willing to try a new activity alongside their kids.

The solution may be as straightforward as making space in their days for active time as a family — and sampling a variety of activities until you find the ones that you enjoy most together.

“Pickleball, swimming, group exercise classes — the list of healthy activities parents can enjoy with their children is virtually endless,” says Alicia Kockler, senior vice president of Life Time Kids and Aquatics. “Teaching our kids about the benefits of an active lifestyle is so important and exploring new ways to play together creates memories that will last a lifetime.”

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents (73 percent) agreed that the beginning of the school year is a good time to make healthy lifestyle changes like these. “The start of a new school year is a great time to develop new family routines,” says Kockler. “We suggest designating one or two nights a week when the whole family participates in a fun activity together, like basketball or family swim at an indoor pool. Families who spend more active time together, and less time staring at screens, tend to be happier and much healthier.”

(For ideas on how you can be active as a family at Life Time, visit ELmag.com/clubadventureday. And for all sorts of health-living inspiration for the whole family, visit Family/Friends/Kids on Experience Life.)

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Life Time Editorial Team

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