After having children, many women often worry about their weight and losing all of their “baby fat” they gained during pregnancy. While this is a legitimate concern and there are tons of ways for moms to get back into shape after giving birth, make sure you don’t neglect your children’s physical health as well. Babies and toddler need structured physical activity in order for them to thrive and develop healthily.

Exercise for Baby
You might think that exercise isn’t for babies. They are only a few months old after all, what exercises can they do? Well, that’s a good question. There are tons of exercises for babies, and doctors recommend that babies get at least some type physical activity during the day, but there are no set requirements. However, about 30 minute should be enough for most babies and infants. This will mainly involve crawling and pulling themselves around the floor when they’re able to, but it can also include some exercises made especially for babies.

You probably won’t have to encourage babies to be physically active, especially if you put them on the floor instead of keeping them in a crib or playpen for most of the day. As soon as they’re able, babies will begin rolling, scooting, and crawling all by themselves. Just make sure you set up protective boundaries to ensure that your child can’t get into anything dangerous.

Toddler Exercise
Toddler can get a lot more exercise than babies. Doctors recommend that toddlers aged 2-3 get at least 130 minutes of physical activity a day. Out of that time, 30 minutes should be structured activity like sports, active games, or mommy-and-me exercising classes like tumbling. The rest of the time, 60 minutes, should be made up of unstructured physical activities. This is generally normal playtime activities that don’t involve sitting in front of the T.V.

Like babies, toddlers probably won’t need much encouragement to be active. Their normal games and activities usually provide more than the 60 required minutes. Activities can include:

  • Tags games
  • Ball games
  • Bike riding
  • Climbing on a play structure
  • Singing
  • Dancing

This amount of activity for both babies and toddlers will help improve their muscle control and help develop fine and gross motor skills. It will also improve their cardiovascular system so that it remains strong and healthy while they grow. As a bonus to parents, this level of exercise and activity will also make children more likely to sleep better and it also uses up their extra energy which helps tone down hyperactivity.

Sources:

  1. Gavin, M. L. (2012, February 1). Kids and exercise. KidsHealth.
  2. Gavin, M. L. (2011, May 1). Fitness and your 2- to 3-year old. KidsHealth.
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