Walking For Fitness: Making Your Children Walk

Walking For Fitness


Walking is one of the safest sports available as there is a very low risk of injury. It is fun, doesn’t require any special equipment, subscriptions or training and it is free. All those reasons make it the ideal sport to practice with your children.


However, as a parent of two young children I know how difficult it can be to get them motivated to exercise. Some children are naturally sporty, mine aren’t. So I make them walk under different excuses. I know that if I just say, let’s go for a walk, they will look at me long faced and my hooligan will come up with some excuse to avoid walking. So what do I do to get them to walk a few kilometres without complaints? Below I have collected a few ideas that worked for me and my little ones. I hope they help you too.

Children Walk If They Know It Is Fun

My litttle ones happy to go on a spring day.  What they enjoyed the most about the walk was being able to walk on paddles and getting dirty
My litttle ones happy to go on a spring day. What they enjoyed the most about the walk was being able to walk on paddles and getting dirty | Source
Kings of The world
Kings of The world
Showing proudly their wild grapes and blackberries
Showing proudly their wild grapes and blackberries

Walking for Health: How to use the Power of Walking to Improve Health

Walk With A Purpose

  • Whenever my children want to go to the park I tell them that we will need to walk there. They agree immediately and I take advantage to take them to the farthest away park in town, just to make them walk farther. Because they are walking with the idea of going to the park they don’t complain about it, even when each of them is carrying their lunch packs.
  • Last winter we went with friends for a walk in the snow covered woods. The purpose of the walk was to gather mistletoe and moss for the Christmas decorations. We spent a good part of the afternoon walking in the woods and none of the children complained about the cold or being tired.
  • During the warm months, I take the children to walk in the woods. The purpose of our walk depends on the time of the year. During July and August, we go out collecting wild berries, in September/October we go out looking for nuts and apples. The children love to go out searching for wild fruits, which makes them walk for hours and the best thing is that they eat what they have collected once we arrive home!
  • Walk to a place they like. My children like going to the library and visiting friends. When they have to walk there, they walk without complaining because they know where they are going. For young children, it might be difficult to understand that they have to walk for nothing. Having a set place to go, will make it easier for them to get motivated to walk.

The Day's Challenge. Guess Which Path They Chose...

Doing the "Woolf walk" in Mosnay, France.   Children like famous landmarks that is why they love doing the Woolf walk!
Doing the "Woolf walk" in Mosnay, France. Children like famous landmarks that is why they love doing the Woolf walk! | Source

Walk With Friends

If you walk alone with your child, you run the risk that she will start complaining sooner than expected about being tired, when in reality she is only bored. If you bring one or two of her friends, the children will walk chatting and playing and none of them will notice the distance walked.


Allure them with something they like

Have you seen the dog races, where they have a fake rabbit in front of the dogs to encourage them to run? Well, I try the same with my little ones. As they don’t have a weight problem I encourage them to keep walking with sweeties. That keeps their sugar levels up and gives them an instant burst of energy whenever they are starting to get too tired.

A Walk Around Chateau Guillaume in France. Children love Places With Lots To Look at And Things to Clamber Over Dunes, Trees, Streams, etc

Buy a Pedometer


Children love games and competitions. Let them keep track of how much they are walking and they will push themselves to break their records.


Walk the dog

If you have a dog, walking it is the perfect excuse to get your children out and going. If you don’t have a dog you can always walk a neighbour’s dog!

One of the things that we enjoy as a family is our long dog walks. It doesn’t matter the time of the year it is always nice to engage in a family walk.



Why Should You Walk With Your Children

  • Walking helps children build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
  • Walking with your children will help reduce any feelings of stress or sadness for both your children and you. You don’t need to race or walk yourself and your children breathless; a gentle walk in the fresh air and sunshine is relaxing and it makes you feel good.
  • Walking helps control body weight
  • Walking helps with overall flexibility
  • Set the example, if your children see you walking, they will walk too.
  • Family walks can be an excellent time to share stories and experiences with your children.
  • After a long walk, your children will have a better sleep.
  • Walking with your children you can take the opportunity to leisurely teach them things such as road safety.

Some of our walks:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Walking to school on a snowy morningA walk in the townThey always walk if they know we are going to feed the ducks! During a family walk, a well deserved rest.A castle is always a good excuse for a walk... even if it is rainning!Walking the dogHealthy fit children are happy Children!
Walking to school on a snowy morning
Walking to school on a snowy morning
A walk in the town
A walk in the town
They always walk if they know we are going to feed the ducks!
They always walk if they know we are going to feed the ducks!
During a family walk, a well deserved rest.
During a family walk, a well deserved rest.
A castle is always a good excuse for a walk... even if it is rainning!
A castle is always a good excuse for a walk... even if it is rainning!
Walking the dog
Walking the dog
Healthy fit children are happy Children!
Healthy fit children are happy Children!

New research suggests that walking to school helps children concentrate in lessons better and may even reduce the need for medication for conditions like ADHD

Walking The Easier Way To Keep Your Children Fit


Remember that it is important to get children into the habit of walking at an early age. The best way to get them walking is to integrate walking into their lifestyles.

Do you walk with your children?

See results without voting

© 2010 Wendy Iturrizaga

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Comments 21 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Very good suggestions. Walking with purpose or not gives you a perfect time to communicate with your children, laugh and play which is also such an important part of childhood. Good hub.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Start young and it will set good habits.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Pamela99: You are right, it makes for the perfect time to share stories and concerns.

Ethel: I am hoping so :) I know that if I let them sit in front of the TV all day, they would do it. But I feel awful about that, there is so much to see out there that it is a shame to be indoors!


ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

I heard that Europeans walk about 1 mile per day; (at least). I know when I traveled and walk a lot, I was a lot thinner in the waist. Great advice!


AARON99 6 years ago

Excellent hub on walking for fitness. Without doing any cumbersome exercises, walking alone can prevent from almost all diseases natually. Well meaning hub. Enjoy.


calicoaster profile image

calicoaster 6 years ago

Great hub. Walking is my favorite activity too, especially in garden, with earphones on, music blaring in my ears....just amazing. Thanks for sharing this post on benefits of walking. I am more inspired now!! :)


Mezo profile image

Mezo 6 years ago from Egypt

A very nice hub as usual! Amazing ideas and it is very good way to communicate with children and to have something to share.

Cute kids, like their mum :)

nice work, Princessa


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

A great way to get fit.


Lyria profile image

Lyria 6 years ago

The pedometer is a great idea to motivate kids. I never thought of that and I could have used one with my stepson when he was young. We would go for walks along the beach and after about 20 steps he would start asking, can we turn around now?


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Lyria: The pedometer idea really works, children get interested in breaking their own records and the walks seem less long!

Sandyspider: It is really, especially as I read that you don't really need to do very long walks to keep fit. Aparently 3 ten minute walks a day have the same health benefits as one 30 minute walk a day.

Mezo: thanks for the compliment ^_^

calicoaster: thank you for sharing your walking experiences.

AARON99: Yes, walking alone can improve yur general fitness and health without too much effort.

ocbill: From my experience living in the UK, Spain and France I would say that the French are the ones who walk the most. I have an 80 year old neighbour (who unfortunately has cancer) but she walks everyday to the town to get her daily shopping, because she wants to do it. I offered to help her with her shopping but she refused. She says that walking to the town everyday breaks her day, makes her dress up and put her make up on, and allows her to see her friends who are also doing the same. If you see her, despite her cancer, at 80 years old she looks the picture of health and elegance!


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

This hub is so true. While we are becoming more obese in society, the natural things like walking are free. We must recognize our control over health issues.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

fits4life: That's right, one of the best things about walking is that it is free, there is no excuse to avoid walking. Even frail people benefits from a short walk outdoors. A gentle walk after a meal is an excellent and healthier alternative to the siesta.


jeffro67 profile image

jeffro67 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Great hub! There are some great tips in the article! I walk regularly and always ask my daughter to join me. Hopefully I can get here to join me a little more from now on!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

jeffro67: I hope these tips help you to get your daughter to join you more often. I know they help to make my little ones walk. Thanks for your visit.


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

Walking will definently keep you in shape. Family walks will do even more than that. Your hub is great and the kids are so cute and happy in the photos.


taskeinc profile image

taskeinc 6 years ago from Atlanta

Nice article, first picture of the walking trail is gorgeous.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

Your children are adorable.They are so lucky to have you as a mom.Once they get in the habit I found they keep on wanting to do it.I use to walk backwards with my neice and nephew to make it more fun.When I was young we had to walk everywhere.I never gave it a thought.Even today I love to walk.I hope everyone reads your hub and listens.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

fits4life: they are very happy to go out for a walk now, specially if we take our labrador with us :)

taskeinc: that walking trail is just behind our home, it takes you to the Gallo-Roman ruins.

Dream on: Walking backwards sounds like fun, we should try that one.


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Oh, you have lovely scenery! This was filled with great ideas! Just saw the link to the skydiving hub, will have to read it...my 15 yo daughter wants to skydive!


annmeadows profile image

annmeadows 6 years ago from Mobile, Al.

Good for you, Princessa. My hubby and I walk with the kids in the morning before work sometimes. Well, they usually ride their bikes. It's a great way to kick start the day.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

sagebrush_mama: yes, I must admit that having a lovely scenary helps to get motivated for walking ;-)

BTW, your daughter will love skydiving, don't worry, it is a very safe sport!

annmeadows: That's an excellent way to start the day it is energizing and mind clearing.

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