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Physical Activity Tools and Resources

Four girls jumping rope

These tools and resources help families and communities better understand physical activity and how it relates to maintaining a healthy weight.

Parent Tips and Handbook

Families Finding the Balance: A Parent Handbookpdf document icon (1.5 MB PDF)

Offers practical tips to help parents help their families find the right balance of eating well and being physically active to maintain a healthy weight.

Be Active and Have Funpdf document icon (80 KB PDF)

Try these tips from We Can!® to help increase daily physical activity and have fun at the same time.

Energy Balance: ENERGY IN & ENERGY OUTpdf document icon (786 KB PDF)

Use this worksheet to better understand how balancing energy in and energy out can help your family maintain a healthy weight.

Get Started! Eating Healthy and Moving Morepdf document icon (91 KB PDF)

Try these tips from We Can! to eat well and move more and see how easy taking small steps toward a healthier life can be.

We Can! Move More Every Daypdf document icon (94 KB PDF)

Use this worksheet to record expected physical activity for your family including time, day of the week, and who will participate.

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Healthy Adventure Infographicpdf document icon (572 KB PDF) new item icon

This infographic illustrates some options that parents and caregivers have in the steps they can take to help their families be healthier.

Portion Distortion Quiz

In addition to providing helpful information about how portions have changed over the past two decades, these quizzes also provide useful information about the amount of physical activity required to burn off the extra calories provided by today's portions.

Portion Distortion Slide Sets

The NHLBI offers these slide sets for public use. The slides can be downloaded for use in computer slide shows, conventional slide presentations, or for online viewing via the website.

Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart

Know you should be more physically active, but are confused concerned, or just can't get started? This guide developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute uses science-based information to help adults develop a safe and effective program of physical activity that can be sustained. All research indicates that regular, moderate physical activity will improve your heart health and how you look and fell. Find out about the importance of physical activity in reducing heart disease risk, and how to begin or maintain an activity program that's right for you!

Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide For Teenagersexternal disclaimer

A booklet from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that is designed to help teenagers take small and simple steps to keep a healthy weight. It provides basic facts about nutrition and physical activity, and offers practical tools to use in everyday life, from reading food labels and selecting how much and what foods to eat, to replacing TV time with physical activities.

Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Be Active!external disclaimer

This tip sheet provides useful information about diabetes and encourages teens to be more physically active in order to manage their disease for a long and healthy life.

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Physical Activity-Related Curricula

We Can! offers six curricula that address physical activity.

  • We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program is a multi-session program for parents and caregivers that includes one session dedicated to reducing screen time and increasing physical activity in youth.
  • Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!� is a 10-lesson curriculum designed to help youth ages 11 to 13 understand the connections between media and health.
  • I Can Do It, You Can Do Itexternal disclaimer (ICDI) is a mentoring program offered by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutritionexternal disclaimer (PCFSN) that facilitates physical activity and nutrition education opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
  • CATCH® Kids Club is an evidence-based curriculum for after-school and community recreation settings, that includes lessons and activities to motivate heart-healthy behavior in children in grades K-5.
  • SPARK� PE and SPARK� After School are evidence-based programs designed to promote physical activity in youth from K-12, and ages 5-14, respectively. They include curricula, training, equipment, and follow-up support components.
  • EatPlayGrow�: Creative Activities for a Healthy Start is a new health educational curriculum for children ages 2-5 and their parents. EatPlayGrow was created through a collaboration between the NIH and the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). The EatPlayGrow curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM's creative educational approach to teach kids and their parents how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices that are fun and easy to include in daily routines.

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Federal Guidelines and Additional Resources

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americansexternal disclaimer

The Federal Government has issued its first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) for Americans. They describe the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans, including adults and children.

PAG Mid-Course Reportexternal disclaimerpdf document icon (2.2 MB PDF)

This 2012 report identifies interventions that can help increase physical activity in youth ages 3�17 years across a variety of settings. The findings may assist community organizations and partners in improving opportunities for physical activity in their communities.

PAG Mid-Course Report Infographicexternal disclaimerpdf document icon (1.3 MB PDF)

This one-page handout illustrates the five settings described in the report and highlights opportunities to increase physical activity for youth throughout the day. The image may also be useful in slide presentations.

PAG Youth Factsheetexternal disclaimerpdf document icon (380 KB PDF)

This one-page reference summarizes the PAG recommendations for youth ages 6 to 17 years, and provides examples of various physical activities for this age group.

President's Council on Fitness, Nutrition & Sportsexternal disclaimer

Learn more about physical activity on this website developed by the President's Council on Fitness, Nutrition & Sports (PCFSN), an advisory committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness, nutrition, and sports in America.

President's Challengeexternal disclaimer

The President's Challenge Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Fitness Awards program is the long-standing program of the PCFSN, administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President's Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities improve their overall health and fitness through a suite of recognition programs. The President's Challenge includes the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, an Adult Fitness Test, the PALA+ Challenge, and a Presidential Champions Program.

PALA+ Challengeexternal disclaimer

PALA+, a program of the President's Challenge, promotes physical activity AND good nutrition, because it takes both to lead a healthy lifestyle. Encouraging participation in PALA+ is one way to help families in your community get the recommended amount of daily activity and meet their healthy eating goals, based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

CDC Physical Activity Web Pageexternal disclaimer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity provides online information about physical activity, including how much physical activity your children should get.

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Last Updated: November 8, 2013