If exercise is part of your life, chances are, it is part of your children's lives too.

Active parents often produce active children for whom going for walks, swimming and playing football is the norm.

With warnings that the computer age could be damaging children's health and with less sport offered in school, it is up to parents to ensure their youngsters get enough exercise.

But dragging them away from their Gameboys may be difficult.

The key is to make exercise fun and come up with family activities where you can all get fit together. Try the following:

WALKING: It's free, it doesn't require any special equipment or training and it is one of the best forms of exercise.

However, the prospect of dragging a "Kevin" around may put off most parents before they have even left the house.

You could suggest they take a friend, dangle their Gameboy on a stick in front of them or offer to pay them.

Little ones are likely to get tired or bored quickly so, here, the key is making a walk an adventure.

Take them to places they'll find interesting such as woods, near rivers, on the beach or to ruined buildings with some ghostly tales with which you can keep them entertained.

Give them a list of treasure to find on the way or see if you can identify birds, plants and trees.

If they're really struggling, promise them a short piggyback after every ten minutes' walking.

SWIMMING: Most children like swimming or at least playing about in the pool.

Swimming is one of the safest yet most effective forms of exercise so if you persuade them to do a few lengths with you in between the handstands, you'll all benefit.

Health clubs are good because the pool is often slightly smaller than the local leisure centre and therefore less daunting for a child.

BALL GAMES: The obvious one is a game of football in the garden or the park.

Or how about rigging up a net to play volleyball, a hoop for basketball or playing a game of rounders?

CIRCUIT TRAINING: Not the killer gym activity but a garden version.

Place balls, benches, skipping ropes, hula hoops, mini exercise trampolines, small hand weights and any other props you can find at different points around the garden.

Each competitor has to complete each activity against the clock, with the one who completes the circuit in the fastest time, the winner.

CYCLING: There is no better activity for a spot of family bonding than a bike ride and with baby seats there's no limit on the age of who can take part.

Kids will feel very grown up on their bikes out with mum and dad.

You could even take a map and get them to help devise the route. Taking a picnic is popular.

GARDENING: A good one for getting the children to do your work under the pretence of it being fun.

Most young children enjoy helping in the garden, especially if they have their own little plot.

Give them jobs like emptying buckets of weeds that will take them across the garden to the compost heap or raking up grass cuttings or leaves.

If you invest in some childsize tools, they can do their own digging.

SPORT CLUBS: Lastly, find out if there are any sports clubs or courses taking place at a nearby leisure centre or at your child's school.

They are an ideal way for children to get fit and mix with other children at the same time - and maybe learn a completely new skill.