Why Physical activity is important for Infants and Young children?
We all need to be physically fit apart from monitoring our diet patterns and shifting towards healthier food options. And when it comes to kids, they need to be more active right from toddlerhood for their healthy growth and development. Once Healthy lifestyle patterns are established right from childhood, it will go a long way in their life. And Physical activity has become all the more important for kids in this digital era, as to them recreation and fun means Videos, cartoons and online games, which are negating the basics of being healthy and fit. These choices have so easily replaced the old world charm of playing outside.
Also being physically active doesn’t necessarily involve rigorous exercising. Swimming laps, climbing stairs, evening or morning walks praising the nature, a session of football, are all simple things which can help your child being physically active.
Before sharing how to make a child Physically active, let’s understand why is it important for my child to be physically active.
Why is it important for my child to be Physically active?
- It Strengthens Heart and Lungs : Physical work, strengthens the heat muscles, pumps in more of blood, enhances circulation. It also increases lung capacities which promotes more of oxygen in blood.
- Strong Bones, muscles : As kids grow, strengthening bone and muscles, helps in enhancing Bone density which is must for overall strong growth.
- Maintains a healthy weight as a physically active child doesn’t accumulates most of fats as it gets burnt into calories required for those activities.
- Improves flexibility, which helps children in reducing muscle stiffness, lessens the risk of injury and promotes a better posture.
- Varied Physical activities help kids in development of gross motor and fine motor skills.
- It also improves their concentration, imaginative powers, better thinking skills, aka It enhances Cognitive development.
- Kids do get stressed, and physical activities help in de-stressing and promotes relaxation.
- Better quality sleep, which is must for overall development in childhood.
- Social & Emotional Development, as in Team work, self confidence and becoming extrovert are other plus.
- Improves balancing and overall coordination
Now that we are aware of the immense benefits, here are some answers we all need!
Related Read : Do children need downtime?
How can I make my child Physically active?
To me, being fit has always been a conscious trigger for a healthy life and kids being perfect copycats, I’m happy that Master A has more liking for his physical activities compared to the digital ones (Videos, Online games). I would love to list out those activities which I have been provoking him from the start, which has helped tons in his overall growth and development.
1. Daily Stroll :
A walk in the neighbourhood is a perfect time for us. For small distances, we avoid taking any private or public transport. We get quality time with each other, when we explore the surroundings, chat on numerous topics and relate them to real life objects. This helps in a much better experiential learning and side by side we are working out traversing those stretches.
2. Music and beats :
Turning up the music, turns On Master A! And we love those fun family moments for 15-20 minutes a day. Shaking, rolling to the favourite music is a great way to be physically active plus it lifts up the moods and spirits. And btw, Gummy bear song and Kinder dance is his current favourite♥. He loves dancing, so twice a week, he has his Kinder dance classes which are great to sweat out, attain flexibility and de-stress.
3. Elevators or Stairs?
And we all love Elevators, ahh, they give us so much of needed relaxation. Relaxation? Why, without any physical activity? Well you’re cheating to your body and making kids lazier. Opt for stairs and ditch elevators, climbing up and down stairs can be some fun, just be careful. Stairs are a great tool to burn those calories and be active.
Also don’t stop kids from climbing stairs in your house, keep all safety measures in place and allow them to go up and come down. It was Master A’s favourite during his toddlerhood and even today he loves climbing for all the fun.
4. Don’t sit in , Go out :
Don’t waste this precious time sitting inside the house watching TV. Evenings and mornings are beautiful.
- Go for a walk
- Walk your dog
- Say hello to a nearby friend
- Go for some grocery shopping at nearby store
- Try skipping /jumping rope in your garden?
- Try searching for those beautiful butterflies running all around in your garden
- How about Hula hoop with friends, it can be a fun contest, right?
- Fly Kite with friends, assure all safety, flying kite is really fun. Master A has started loving it recently.
5. Play Play and Play :
Allow kids to have some structured and some unstructured play as well. Either join some sports like Basketball, lawn tennis, Football, swimming, Gymnastics, Martial arts or just go out and play randomly with friends. Playing game of tag, monkey bars, hide and seek, racing’s, game of seven stone (satolia), rope climbing, are all a lot fun. Even we used to play all this when we were kids. Isn’t it? Such sports and random games are perfect for that needed physical activity.
6. Love for swimming :
Go for local community indoor or outdoor pool fun. Learning swimming is must for kids, read here. Go for some laps, have some water play with friends, have some diving contest, it is a lot fun as well as a great physical activity for children (and yes for adults too).
Master A loved his skating since he was 3yo and why not when you get gifts after winning the skating races, lol. But once you have learnt all you need to do is pick up your skates/skateboard, safety guards (pads and helmet), ask your friends to join in the nearby park and have that fun.
8. Cycling :
Cycling is a real fun, give kids cycle and bunch of friends and they will not be willing to return back home, lol. So, why not occasionally allow kids to go for a cycling exploration? It is a perfect calorie buster, so keep some nutritious foods ready when kids are back home from cycling. Also, ensure that they have their helmets on for the safety.
You can also club cycling with sand play or you can plan for a family cycling over the weekends, which will help you spend some quality time together, along with that physical workout♥.
9. Hiking and trekking, Wall climbing, Skipping :
Skipping is a perfect indoor activity, if your kids are stuck inside, due to rains or excessive heat. Try planning small hikes and treks with kids. Children not only enjoy the mesmerizing nature, but they also start gaining that must needed strength. Start slowly with small hikes and you can later on stretch it up. Most of my readers are aware that we are travel addicts and this year we have done 2 hikes with Master A and honestly he loved being in nature, breathing pure air, playing in the meadows and then having climbing competitions. With small breaks in between, Hiking with kids is indeed pleasurable activity.
You can also go for rock climbing if not hiking. Many mountaineering institutes, Resorts, and few schools have this activity, which help kids in balancing, concentration and in gaining strength.
10. Gardening :
Growing your own plant be it flowering plants, fruit bearing plants, Gardening is really not easy. wWatering and caring for plants daily is a beautiful task. Involve your kids in gardening activities, which is a good way to be physically active.
Plan up 1-2 of these activities involving an hour or two for kids. There is much to explore and learn in the surroundings, do ensure your kids take out this time!
I would like to know your views on physical activities for kids, what all activities do you engage kids in? What are your thoughts on the above listed actions for kids?
Have all the fun and Life’s blessings!
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I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with with Blogchatter, I’ll be penning down some interesting stuff with #Mommyinmewrites , be tuned!