Child mother active

If you want your child to be more active, then you need to get out more yourself.     Photo: BlueOrange Studio/Getty Images

Active Moms Equal Active Kids

Kids aren't just naturally active

Mothers might not feel like they have any extra seconds in the day to exercise, but a new study finds that being a more active mom will make your young children more active too.

A study from the University of Cambridge published in the journal Pediatrics tracked 554 mothers and their four-year-olds using accelerometers. The data showed that when mothers boosted their physical activity, children's moderate to vigorous activity increased 10 percent.

"We saw a direct, positive association between physical activity in children and their mothers—the more activity a mother did, the more activity her child did," study leader Kathryn Hesketh told the New York Daily News.

However, it is still not clear whether active moms inspired their children to be more active or if already active children were making their mothers run around after them, Hesketh cautioned.

Efforts to promote physical activity should include both mothers and children, study co-author Esther van Sluijs told NPR. Instead of driving to the park, parents and children should walk, Slujis recommends, and substituting a board game with a game of tag can pay big dividends in children's fitness over a month or a year.

Want to get your family more active and raise children who rip? Check out Outside's 2014 Active Family Guide.

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