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Children's Games That Can Help the Whole Family Get in Shape

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Flying a Kite

Benefits: While it's not much of a cardio workout, kite flying offers "scapular stability on the side you are flying. It also builds core strength and balance to stabilize the kite in strong wind," says Scripps. But keep in mind that the "constant upward gaze might aggravate neck problems for some people," adds H. James Phillips, PT, PhD, School of Graduate Medical Education, Seton Hall University.

What You Need: A kite, wind, a wide open space.

How You Play: According to David Gomberg of Gomberg Kites ( in Oregon, "Stand with your back to the wind and hold your kite up as high as you can. Make sure the nose is pointing straight up, and then gently let it go. If the breeze is strong enough, the kite will start to rise. Slowly let out a little flying line, and the kite will fly back. Then, before it reaches the ground, tighten your grip on the line and the kite will start to rise again. Repeat this until the kite gets up into steady winds," says Gomberg.

In lighter winds, have a friend hold your kite about 50 feet away and release it into the wind as you pull in on the line. The kite should shoot up into the sky. When you get a little height, let out more line, then pull in again to gain altitude.

Buying a kite? There are many types. Each is designed to do something different in the sky. Gomberg recommends that beginners go with a simple design like a Delta Kite. "Look for a kite 5 to 7 feet wide and made of durable, lightweight materials. Expect to spend $20 to $30," he adds.

How Many Calories You Burn*: About 3.5 calories per minute and 105.5 calories per half-hour.

*Calorie burns are based on a 155-pound person.

Next:  Musical Chairs


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