Want a great way to combine family time and physical activity? Head into the great outdoors and take a hike. “Getting kids outside is more important than ever,” states outdoor enthusiast Jeff Alt. “Television, computer and video game addictions are replacing outdoor playtime. Passive inside entertainment is contributing to the national obesity epidemic.”

Here are Alt’s tips for getting kids excited about hiking:

  • Hike With Your Baby and Toddler. Children weighing less than 15 pounds should be carried in a front body carrier or sling; those weighing 16–40 pounds will fit into a child carrier backpack; children weighing more than 30 pounds may be ready to hike short distances.
  • Let the Child Lead. This helps you focus on what the kids are interested in and keeps you from leaving them in the dust.
  • Plan Ahead. Choose a trail with easy access to domestic amenities.
  • Go High-Tech. Turn your teenaged computer–gamers on to adventure technology (GPS, pedometers, etc.).