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Get Girls Active, Part 3: Keeping It Fun!

The best way to combat fear of being active in girls is to teach them to move in ways that their body and personality-type enjoy. It's important to try to make every encounter that a girl has with activity a positive one. Here are some easy tips on keeping it fun:

Take her to girls’ and women’s sports events. Introduce her to a heroine!

Take advantage of the seasons. Each season try a weather-appropriate sport. For example, tackle snowboarding, showshoeing or skiing in the winter, volleyball and swimming in the summer, softball and track in the spring and soccer, cross-country or basketball in the fall.

Rate the neighborhood! Pick a different walking route each time. What’s the prettiest house, the best mailbox, the prettiest flowers? Include bouts of power walking (big steps, pumping your arms, going as fast as you can), go from phone pole to phone pole or hydrant to hydrant. And then slow down to laugh, rest and recover.

Vary the environment. Instead of running around a track or playing soccer on a soccer field, take your activities to the beach or a local park.

Get the scoop on women athletes. There are plenty of biographies and films on women sports heroes like Billie Jean King, Mia Hamm and the Williams sisters. These inspirational stories will also show girls that even the most talented athletes had to start somewhere and learn from the bottom up.

Make a sports scrapbook. Collect pictures of females doing physical activities. Look for teen and women’s magazines.

Give gifts of sports equipment and apparel. These can tell her that you think she can.

Mandatory Daily Physical Education. There is no better guarantee that a girl will be physically active every day than a mandatory daily physical education requirement in her school.