In the fight against childhood obesity the British health department issued a statement today encouraging the youngest kids to exercise more. Kids under five who can walk should be physically active for at least three hours a day. Officials also said parents should reduce the amount of time such kids spend being sedentary while watching television or being strapped in a stroller.
I agree with the British government’s statement and believe that families in the United States should also teach their children how to be physically active starting from birth. You might think that three hours a day is a long time for your little ones, but this actually is quite reasonable and not that difficult to fit into your schedule. Below are a few tips on how you can get your youngest children to learn how to stay physically active.
Have your kids start “tummy time” shortly after birth. For newborns you can break up the three hours into short 2-5 minute segments throughout the day. Once your child gains more strength you can increase the time on his tummy. Make sure you set aside tummy time for your infant every single day.
If your child is between the ages of 6-12 mos provide a safe environment on the floor free from safety hazards and small object that your child can choke on. Place fun toys on the floor for him to explore. Make sure your baby spends plenty of time every day on the floor actively playing with his toys.
For children 1-5 there are several activities you can do to encourage them to exercise more. Below are just a few:
- Put on some fun child friendly music and dance with your kids.
- Go for a walk. Even toddlers can walk around your block. You don’t have to put your little one in a stroller every time you go for a walk.
- Play an active game with a ball. This can be as simple as catch or kicking around a soccer ball.
- Play tag with your kids.
- Have your children race around the house. (My kids love doing this!)
- Be creative and come up with your own active game!
The best way to teach your children how to lead an active lifestyle is by showing a good example yourself. If they see you exercising and having fun then your children will want to join in. Play with your kids. Not only does playing with your kids get them off of the couch and away from video games and computers it also creates a more positive relationship between parent and child.
About This Author
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, manages Mom’s Natural Health and Wellness Store, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge.