Physical activity at any age can help build muscle strength and fitness, and in children young and old develop skills of balance and co-ordination. Getting your little one involved in a form of exercise from an early age will help establish healthy lifestyle behaviours, which can last a lifetime. Active children are more likely to be active adults. And an active lifestyle reduces the risk of ill health.
Obviously, the level of physical activity will depend on the age and ability of your little one and this is something you can build on with time. There are lots of organised activities and classes suitable for babies and toddlers. Your local leisure or health centre is a good place to start to see what’s on in your area. Or if you are a regular social media user, check out local facebook pages/twitter accounts to see what’s on.
Some examples of things you can look into:
Baby and toddler swimming classes
Swim classes not only get them splashing around but introduce water safety and build confidence.
Gymnastic based classes
Most are usually only for toddlers that are walking which generally use soft play equipment, where exercise is developed through fun, creative games and play. Promoting movement, posture and balance.
Get your little toddler running, jumping, crawling and dancing. Generally movement is to music. Not only boosting their coordination but also their rhythm.
Yoga specially for mothers and babies offers gentle stretches and movements and a lovely opportunity for some mother-baby time.
Baby & toddler disco
This fun activity introduces not only different types of music and sound, but also gets both you and baby moving, a great fun family exercise activity.
If all else fails, head outside (rain coats & wellies at the ready!) and hit your local playground or park. On a rainy day a good place to burn off some energy is your local soft play centre. Most always have a separate area for babies and toddlers with equipment relevant to their age group to allow them to explore, slide, play with/feel the sensation of the balls in a ball pen and learn to climb.l