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Fitness for parents : en Español

TWo girls jumping rope with their father.

Do you want to support the health and happiness of the girls in your life? A great way to do that is to encourage them to be physically active. Being physically active can:

  • Reduce stress and improve sleep
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Promote a healthy weight
  • Build bones and muscles for strength
  • Help avoid health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Teach healthy habits that can last a lifetime

Not sure how much and what types of activity girls need? Our information on the basics of girls' fitness breaks it down for you.

Is being active a low priority for your girl? We have lots of tips that can help you encourage girls to exercise. And remember, one great way to get girls to be active is to get moving together. It's good for you, and helps build your relationship, too!

Staying safe while getting fit is very important. Here are some tips to help keep kids safe:

  • Always provide the right safety equipment for an activity, such as a well-fitted helmet. Learn how to fit a bike helmet [pdf icon PDF 2.8M] right. And make sure to use the right equipment yourself to stay safe and to be a good role model.
  • Look over some fitness safety information with your girl, including signs of concussion, which can be different for girls than for boys.
  • If your girl hasn't been active in a while, make sure she starts slowly and builds up gradually. If she tries to do too much early on, she may get overwhelmed.
  • Offer lots of water, especially when it's hot out. Learn more about what girls need to eat and drink when active.
  • If a girl exercises so much that it interferes with the rest of her life, talk with a doctor to protect her physical and emotional health.

Our obese kids

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States. Being active can help a child get to and maintain a healthy weight. If your girl may be overweight or obese, ask a doctor for ways she can lose weight. Also ask whether she needs to be checked for health problems such as diabetes. If you have trouble paying for doctor's visits, look for a clinic where you can get free or reduced-cost care.

Visit to learn more about kids, activity, and weight.

You also can explore BodyWorks, a program that teaches adults how to help teens reach and stay at a healthy weight.

If your girl is overweight or obese make sure to give her the support she needs to lose weight — and the love and acceptance she needs to feel good about herself.


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Content last reviewed March 27, 2015
Page last updated June 30, 2015