Benefits of Staying Physically Active (C 1037-19) University of Georgia Extension Read about the benefits of being physically active for adults and children, and play walking games with your child. 2017-03-28 14:55:21.743 2014-05-13 17:56:35.0 Eat Healthy, Be Active Series: Benefits of Staying Physically Active | Publications | UGA Extension Skip to content

Benefits of Staying Physically Active (C 1037-19)

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By Kathryn Tarulli, Dr. Diane Bales and Dr. Charlotte Wallinga — Department of Human Development and Family Science

Be Physically Active: Keep your family fit by encouraging them to be physically active.

Although physical activity may look different for children and adults, it is equally important for both. Adults often think of physical activity as exercising at the gym or lifting weights. For children, active play, such as riding bikes or playing games outside, help them stay healthy. It is important for you and your family to find enjoyable ways to stay active.

Children and adults benefit from physical activity in many ways:

Physical Benefits

  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Lower body fat
  • Less likely to become overweight
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol

Emotional Benefits

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Higher quality sleep
  • More positive overall attitude toward life

*The Nemours Foundation. (2012). KidsHealth: Raising a Fit Preschooler. Retrieved from

Family Fun Activity: Walking Games

Use this easy activity to help your child learn.

What You Need:

  • Comfortable shoes

What To Do:

  • Go for a family walk or hike
  • Make games to help your child have fun while walking. For example:
    • Scavenger Hunt: As you walk, encourage your child to find different objects. For example, find something square, the number 4, or a yellow sign
    • Movement Mix-Up: During the walk, vary your movements. Walk backwards, hop, or move faster and slower
  • These games are fun for your child and help him or her grow physically and mentally

This is publication 19 out of 24 in the Eat Healthy, Be Active: Keeping Children Healthy at Home and School series. For more information visit

Status and Revision History
Published on May 13, 2014
Reviewed on Mar 28, 2017