It is important for everyone, young and old to lead an active lifestyle in order to keep fit and healthy. Hours of inactivity can be harmful to your child’s health and development. This is not only important for older children and adults but is something that can begin for young children and to carry this through until adulthood. Even babies can lead an active lifestyle and so it is important to encourage activity from a very young age. The earlier a child begins to lead an active lifestyle, the easier it becomes to maintain.
Even before your baby begins to crawl, exercise should be encouraged. Long hours of lying in a pram or cot are not healthy for a baby. An inactive baby is in danger of becoming obese in later life. As well as dangers of obesity, a child’s development can be at risk through being inactive and unable to learn.
Babies can be encouraged to be active through play. Look to encourage your baby by using techniques such as:
Look to move your baby’s head and limbs in play and regularly through supervised floor play. Exercises like this will help to keep your baby active and help to encourage a bond between parent and child.
Once your baby is able to walk, it is important to continue to make sure that your toddler still enjoys an active lifestyle to keep their development and prevent obesity. Habits that begin early in life are easier to keep as your child grows older. Toddlers should be encouraged to get around three hours (or 180 minutes) of exercise each day. This should not be attempted all in one three-hour block but should be spread out throughout the day. Energetic exercises that are good for toddlers include:
As your toddler gets older and is more stable on their feet. As your child grows older they need more challenging activities. Exercise needs to be fun for all children and variety helps to make sure that your toddler never gets bored. More complicated activities for toddlers include:
Any activity that gets your toddler up and moving is good to keep their development on an even track. Learning happens most through play and it is important to keep exercise frequent and fun.
Having children that are inactive for any period of time can be detrimental to their health and development. Activities such as watching television, travelling or being strapped into a buggy should be kept to a minimum. Tablets and computer games are all too common and there is a danger that these could create a generation of children that are liable to obesity.
Look to encourage your child to participate in activities from an early age and you will be encouraging good health habits that last a lifetime. Why not help your child right from the beginning by looking to encourage activity and exercise from a young age?