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April 10 2010 12:00 AM

Remember the old saying, "monkey see, monkey do?" With
childhood obesity at an all time high, it's time for parents to start at home
and encourage their children to be active. With kids, actions speak louder
than words, so don't just talk about the importance of exercise with your kids,
actually get moving with them. With younger children you can join in on what
they love best: "playing." Go run on the playground with them, throw
and kick some balls around; you get the idea. But with children over the age of
12, it might take more to get them to want to be active with you.

Try taking your
tweens and teens to the gym and follow
these tips from the exercise experts at Life Fitness to help them fall in love with fitness:

Pick a group class together: These days
there are group fitness classes for everyone. From yoga to Latin dancing to
group cycling to water aerobics, something will appeal to you, as well as your
son or daughter.

Check out all the nooks and crannies of the facility: Step out of your box and investigate all your gym has to offer.
Some of the things you have never taken advantage of might appeal to your
child. Hit the open basketball court and shoot some hoops together. Try out the
rock climbing wall together if there is one. Not only is climbing a muscular
challenge, but a great way to build team work and trust.

Do a functional training workout: Introduce your teen to strength training.
Be creative and use different types of equipment. Start slowly and
incorporate several circuits into a challenge. Make it a game and take turns
completing each circuit and recording your progress. Ask for instruction from
the professionals at the gym if you have any questions. You and your child can
learn some new moves together.

Fit Tips
are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing
high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For
more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit