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May 2011

Helping girls get active

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Physical activity is great for girls. It can do some amazing things, like build strong bones, boost mood, improve sleep, and even help prevent disease. But how can you help girls be active? One great way is to get moving together. You’ll build your health — and your relationship, too! Here are some other ways to encourage physical activity:

  • Make fitness fun. Girls are more likely to stick with activities they enjoy. Suggest that they get active with friends, for example.
  • Suggest making a plan. Having a specific plan usually works better than just hoping to squeeze in a workout.
  • Limit screen time.TV time could instead be running-around time. You also could both march in place or do a few jumping jacks while watching your favorite show.
  • Look for lessons. Try borrowing workout DVDs from your library. See if your local gym or community center offers classes.

Learn more in the Parents & Caregivers Fitness section. You can read about types of exercise that girls need, how hard girls should work out, and how to help girls stay safe while getting fit.

Did you know?

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Team sports are a great way to build girls’ fitness, skills, and self-confidence. But there are a lot of other ways to be active, from dancing to yoga and from hiking to kickboxing. Encourage a girl to try new activities until she finds one (or many!) that are right for her.


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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health


Content last reviewed May 01, 2011
Page last updated October 31, 2013