Fit for Sport recently compiled data from an activity survey they conducted with 10,000 primary school aged children. The children underwent a series of fitness tests to measure their fitness, agility, stamina, co-ordination and cardiovascular endurance and the results were disappointing. A staggering 67% were unable to meet their targets in a number of key areas, such as throwing, jumping and running, with 24% falling significantly below. Instilling an active and healthy routine from an early age, can help fight against obesity and diabetes, as well as aiding the development of muscle and bone growth.
Active children are happy children, so what can you to start early and ensure your little one is fit for an active life?
Having a baby is a moving experience in more ways than one! It is really important to encourage your baby to get moving right from the outset. So as soon as they show they are able, you should cheer on their attempts to grasp, crawl, push and pull. Not only does all this encourage them to develop key skills, but as they grow it is important for them to be able to burn off their energy and as a result you will probably find they go to sleep easier and are less irritable.
Kick it! Let your baby kick their legs when they are lying down
Allow your baby time on their tummy ( with supervision) this aids the development of their muscle strength, which they will need in order to crawl. Top tip! Make sure you child proof your house!
Once your baby is sitting up, encourage them to reach for toys. Putting toys just out of your little ones reach, will encourage them to crawl.
Go with the flow! Swimming is a great activity to do with your baby, why not head to the local pool and take your baby swimming. You could enroll in classes or go it alone.
The good news is- toddlers are inherently active ( any parent chasing their little one all over the place, all day long already knows this!). So your toddler is a willing participant in keep busy and active.
Try and avoid letting your toddler sit in high chairs, car seats and their buggy for long periods of time.
Turn off to TV! Try and limit the amount of time your child watches TV or plays on an iPad.
Shake that booty! Kick off your shoes and dance! This is a fun way for ( both) of you to keep fit and is a lovely way to bond with your little one. Cue those disco lights for a multi sensory play experience!
Head out doors and explore the garden or play areas near you. Toddlers love exploring, so even a walk to collect leaves or jumping in puddles is great fun and by doing so, your little one will be exercising without even being aware of it!
Play ball! Playing with a ball will really help develop your toddlers motor skills and coordination.
Give the buggy the brush off! Let your toddler walk as much as possible and practical, rather than being put in the push chair and ferried to places.
Set a good example! If you are fit and active, they will be too.
How do you encourage your baby and toddler to keep fit? Let us know.