Physical Education and Children's Fitness

For generations, parents and teachers have understood that making sure kids get enough exercise is important to make sure that they stay healthy. In this day and age, when obesity is a growing problem and kids spend more time sitting instead of exercising, it is even more critical to focus on children's fitness. Physical education classes remain one of the best ways to make sure that kids stay active, and there are a variety of ways that physical education can happen, both in gym class and beyond. Learning about kids' need for regular exercise and other health topics can help kids be more aware of what they should do to improve their physical fitness.

14 Ways for Kids to Increase Physical Fitness and Awareness

The U.S. Department of Education has put together this list of 14 easy ways for kids to be more physically active.

Active Children and Adolescents

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these guidelines for fitness in children and teenagers.

Active Play Is Key to Kids' Lifelong Health and Fitness

This is a helpful article that explains why active kids are healthier than non-active kids over the long term.

Benefits of Being Fit and Eating Well

Here is a great basic introduction to why eating right and being physically fit are so important.

Body Mass Index

Consult this guide to learn about the body mass index, which is a basic measurement of health and fitness.

Cooperative and Adventure Games (PDF)

In addition to providing a description of teamwork and how it is learned, this resource includes many teamwork-building games for PE classes.

Fitness Challenge

Have fun with this interactive challenge that can help kids get moving and get fit.

Fostering Physical Fitness in 3-to-5-Year-Olds

This simple guide can help anyone foster fitness in toddlers.

Fruit and Veggie Color Champions

Eating the right fruits and vegetables is one of the keys to excellent health, and these fun activities will help kids understand that important fact.

Fun Fitness Tips for Kids

Getting fit can be fun, as this page of fun fitness tips for kids shows.

Get Active!

Here are some simple ways to add activity to everyday life and improve fitness.

Get Fit in Math

Combine math education with physical fitness and exercise using these fun games.

Physical Education Philosophy

Greywolf Elementary in Washington state has provided an overview of the philosophy behind its physical education and exercise program here, which can be a useful guideline for PE teachers as they develop their own programs and goals.

Have-a-Bite Cafe

By asking questions about meals, this fun activity helps kids know whether or not they are eating right.

Health and Physical Education Teaching Philosophy

This sample health and physical education teaching philosophy is a good guide for helping PE teachers develop their own approach to the PE classroom.

How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?

Here is an informative page about how much exercise and activity kids actually need.

How to Make a Fitness Plan

This guide to creating a personal fitness plan is from a site that focuses on girls, but boys will find it useful as well.

Instant Activities

This site has a variety of exercise ideas that are great for warming up students for other activities.

Exercise Games for Kids

Get kids up and moving with these ideas.

Making Fitness a Way of Life

Learn how to make fitness part of every day using this handy resource page.


This is a game that is great for building teamwork and communication skills, and it can be adapted for children or adults.

A Philosophical Position on Physical Activity and Fitness for Physical Activity Professionals

This resource demonstrates that in order for PE teachers to teach health and fitness responsibly, they must strive to be in good physical condition.

Philosophy of Physical Education (PDF)

Here is a great summary report of a comprehensive philosophy of physical education.

Solo Sports: Martial Arts

This introduction to martial arts explains some of the benefits of the sport.

Sports and Fitness: Fueling Your Performance

This guide for young women looks at the importance of nutrition in relation to sports and physical activity.

Staying Fit Word-o-Rama

Here is a fun game that can help teach you words about exercise.

Team-Building Exercises for Children

Use these eight activities to teach kids teamwork, cooperation, and how to build their own teams.

Food Track and Field Game

This interactive game helps kids learn about healthy food and eating.

Warm-Ups and Instant Activities (PDF)

Visit this site for a number of warm-up exercise ideas to use with students.

Weight Room No Longer Off Limits to Kids

Click on this link for some basic guidelines for kids and weight-training exercise.