Tag Archive | "toddler exercise"

How To Make Exercise For Children Fun

One of the keys to teaching children the importance of health is through exercising. However, when they hear the word exercise, the word punishment also comes to mind. There are several ways to make exercise for children fun. Maybe these tips can help you out.

Turn It Into A Family Activity

They say the more, the merrier. This adage is really spot on when it comes to exercising. What better way to make exercise fun for your toddler than to get the entire family involved. Family involvement can be the best motivator to encourage your toddler to exercise. If the whole family is playing a game, your little one is more likely to join in and enjoy himself. So do not just say “Go outside and play.”. Jog or walk around the neighbourhood together. Play tag or hide and seek. Pick up your soccer ball and head outside.

Play Different Fun Games

Children love games so expect your toddler to be engrossed for hours. Think of various physically demanding games that are appealing and challenging. Badminton, basketball, football, Frisbee and soccer are great games that will surely get your toddler’s blood pumping.

Hold A Field Trip

Field trips are exciting. Discover new and exciting places whether by foot or by bicycle. Take a walk and go a different route than you normally do or go biking on a Saturday afternoon. Uncovering new ground allows your toddler to exercise and explore the beauty of Mother Nature.

Arrange Play Dates

Play dates are an effective way to make toddlers exercise. Invite your neighbour’s kids over to your house and organize games that require teamwork and physical activity (running, jumping, walking and hoping). Here are some fun play date games to try:

  • Obstacle Course
  • Capture The Flag – Divide them into 2 teams. Both teams should have a flag on opposite ends of the field. The first team to capture the others flag and bring it back to their base is the winner.
  • Duck Duck Goose - Let everyone sit in a circle. One person stands up to pat each head and say “duck, duck, duck”. The toddler will touch another child’s head and that toddler should get up and catch the other kids before the “it” toddler can run to the open spot and sit down. If they beat the goose (the “it” toddler), they get to sit while another toddler selects the goose.

Find A Sport Your Toddler Is Interested In

Does your toddler love to waddle in the pool, kick and throw balls or dance? Why not take advantage of your toddler’s interest and sign him up for classes and lessons. He can join a swimming, dancing, soccer, basketball, tennis or football workshop. This is the best way to get your toddler to exercise. Plus, it will hone important skills that will be very beneficial for his development.

Keep in mind that exercise for children is not about lifting weights or running on the treadmill. In order to make toddlers interested, a lot of fun and exciting activities must be incorporated.

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The Benefits of Exercise For Toddlers

Exercise for children can be as simple as catching a ball, crossing the monkey bars or playing tag. It brings a lot of positive things that will help your toddler in his development. Below are the benefits of exercise for your toddler.

Gives Strength

Your growing toddler will need strength in order for his body to cope up with his intense energy. Exercise builds strong bones and muscles which give your toddler strength, stamina and resilience to handle whatever challenges he might come across. This will also help reduce the risk of injuries and problems later in life.

Become More Flexible

If your little one performs stretching exercises on a regular basis, his flexibility improves, enabling muscles and joints to bend and move more easily. This can be obtained just by doing a cartwheel or reaching the different parts of the body.

Increases Blood Flow

Exercising can boost the blood flow to all body cells and tissues, including the brain. Improved blood flow transports more oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body, which is very helpful for your growing toddler whose entire body needs large amounts of nutrients. The more nutrients your toddler has, the more energy he has for physical activities.

Detoxifies The Body

Because exercise increases blood flow, his body is able to detoxify and as a result, toxins and other harmful elements (from food, air and water) are taken out. Exercising helps your toddler breathe better and sweat more, which are great ways in keeping the body clean.

Healthier Weight

Obesity is one common health issue in children. An overweight toddler is incapable of reducing his body weight and body fat but a toddler who exercises has less fat and a leaner body structure (weight is proportional to the height). Exercising improves your toddler’s appetite and metabolism.

Stronger Immune System

Your toddler is more prone to sickness due to his undeveloped immune system. But through exercise, his body’s ability to fight diseases is improved. He is less likely to develop health issues such as colds, allergies, diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems.

Improves Mental Health

Exercise improves the brain’s metabolism. It burns off harmful hormones while at the same time stimulates the production of new neurons and brain cells. As a result, your toddler’s memory is improved, he can focus much better and respond quickly.

Better Sleep

When your toddler is active during the day, he is using a lot of his energy and he will feel tired come night time which will help him sleep better (giving you extra hours of sleep too). You will no longer have a hard time following his bedtime routine or hear him grunt when you tuck him to bed.

Happier Disposition

Exercising releases endorphins, more popularly known as “happy hormones”. Your toddler’s anxiety decreases, mood is improved, self-esteem is boosted and he will have a sunnier outlook on life.

Exercising is good for everyone, especially for your toddler. So encourage your toddler to be more active or better yet, get fit together.

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Motivating A Child To Be More Active

Putting your toddler’s endless energy into good use is essential in making sure your toddler is healthy. The best way to ensure that is to teach your toddler to exercise. There are various things you can do when it comes to motivating a child to be active. The following tips will help you get started.

Be An Example

Children love imitating their parents, and the best way you can encourage your toddler to be more active is by leading a physically active life. Get yourself moving. Hit the gym or buy an exercise video so you can exercise at home so your toddler can see you getting active. When you show your toddler that fitness is a priority for you, he will follow your lead.

Choose Age-appropriate Activities

Choose the right activities for your toddler’s age. Remember to keep the focus on fun rather than how many calories he will burn daily. Go for physically demanding activities that are not boring or frustrating. Some fun exercises include - playing a catchy song or a children’s exercise song and letting your toddler dance, throwing or kicking a ball, skipping on one foot, playing tag, freeze dancing, running in the backyard or riding a bike (with training wheels).

Go Outside

Instead of taking a stroller with you each time you go out, let your little one wander freely. Being out in the fresh air and basking in the sunshine will motivate your toddler to walk, run, kick, hop, jump and climb much more than he does when inside your home. Look for safe outdoor play places like the playground, park or a wide open field and bring along balls, jump ropes, bike and other toys. Walk to the supermarket. Go apple picking. Visit a dairy farm. Head to the beach and build sand castles or look for seashells. Let your toddler jump in the leaves you have raked.

Enroll Your Toddler In A Class

What does your toddler love to do? If he likes to dance, enroll him in a dance workshop. If he loves wading in the water, sign him up in a swimming class. Taking advantage of your toddler’s hobbies and interests is the easiest way to get his body moving.

Exercise Together

Exercising is more fun when you have a companion. Let your little one join you while you practice a dance routine or do stretches. Organize daily afternoon strolls with other moms and toddlers in your neighborhood. Better yet, get the whole family involved. Play tag in your backyard, take the whole family for an early evening walk around your local park, visit a zoo or go swimming.

Limit TV Time

Children under 2 years old should not spend more than 2 hours watching television every day, including computer and video games. Limit his TV viewing and choose shows or DVDs that encourage your toddler to get up and move or dance along with the characters.

Exercise is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy, happy and balanced life. Encouraging your toddler to be active is actually very easy as long as you keep it fun.

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