It's not complicated: Being active is what kids are born to do. The problem is all the distractions of modern life that get in the way. But all it takes is an hour of daily movement—on the floor, in the yard, or at the playground—to raise a healthier family. “From the start, a new mom can take her baby for a walk every day, which makes moving around a regular routine,” explains Charles Cappetta, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. More easy ways to get that little heart pumping:
Lots of floor time is the goal!
Let your baby roll around, crawl after toys, and bang on pots and pans.
Playing on her belly strengthens the upper body. Crawlers and cruisers build their large muscle groups.
Give your child space to run, jump, tumble.
Kicking a ball outside is super exercise. Head for the playground slide for step-climbing action.
Getting sweaty and short of breath is fine for nearly every kid—and the key to heart health
Schedule regular time to get physical now.
Some structured sports can begin now, but it's also fine to just play: jump rope, hopscotch, ride trikes, and dig.
Full-body movement not only builds stronger kids, it improves memory and boosts self-esteem.