Physical Activity for Children Playing and being physical active is very important pertaining to young children! Playing and being physical active is extremely important for children. The early development of good habits will lead to healthy behaviours that will carry through to later years. Regular physical activity in early childhood can also impact on immediate and long term health outcomes. The challenges for parents come from the improvements in technology and the temptations that children’s now face. Remote controls, television, labour saving devices and gaming consoles are just some of the advancements that children now use on a daily basis is reducing the level of physical activity. With a reduction in physical activity comes an increase in lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. The increasing rate of weight problems (obesity) in childhood can also be related to lower levels of physical activity and increased periods of inactivity in children. The goal for parents is to make physical activity a priority both inside and outside if the home.
Physical Activity for Babies For healthy development in infants (birth to 1 year) Physical Activity for Children that is supervised, floor-based in a safe environment is encouraged. Daily chances for your baby to move freely help to:
Keep their body and minds active Develop their sense and curiosity Encourages interactions with others
Some ideas for playing with your baby Tummy time is important as it strengthens your baby’s head, neck and trunk muscles. It also encourages the legs and arms to move freely. Noise during playtime helps with areas of brain development linked to hearing. It can also encourage movement. Give your baby a rattler or play music for them to listen to or move to. Moving objects that your baby can follow with their eyes helps develop eye strength and encourage movement.
Physical Activity for 1-5 Years Physical activity for children aged 1-5 years is imperative for building physical, mental and social skills necessary for dealing with everyday situations. The Australian Government (2009) recommend that children be active for at least 3 hours per day. This may seem like a lot but children are naturally active, so short burst of activity from light activities (building or play on the floor) to vigorous activities (running and jumping) can be spread throughout the day. Active Play Helps Children
Improves the health of muscles, heart and bones Builds self-confidence and helps children cope with stressful situations Improves fine and gross motor skills Improves communication and problem solving skills as well as learn how to make decisions.
For more information on physical activity ideas for children visit www.smashfit4kids.com