We know that it’s important to introduce children to healthy habits early in life — teaching them the benefits of nutritious foods, setting boundaries with screen time, and the value of exercising self-compassion. Now, new research shows that involving our kids in our workouts can help them combat stress and anxiety as they grow up. 

In a recent study from the University of California, Riverside, researchers found that introducing kids to the idea of fueling our bodies in a healthy way, and specifically engaging in regular exercise, can help ingrain those healthy habits in their minds as they age, and even reduce anxiety as they reach adulthood. 

So the next time you’re planning a family activity, try taking on small movement rituals with your kids. Whether your children enjoy playing soccer in the backyard, going to the park over the weekend, or simply taking a walk together after dinner, it’s important to incorporate small Microsteps that encourage exercise and movement at a young age — and doing it as a family can help you connect in a new way. You can even get creative and have your kids plan an outdoor relay race, or try a virtual dance class as a family. However you and your kids want to get moving, the idea is starting small, and starting early. 

Microstep: Dancing to a favorite song or jumping around together can boost your energy and your moods.

Author(s)

  • Rebecca Muller

    Senior Editor and Community Manager

    Thrive

    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.