Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
Some toddlers have boundless energy, and seem to be bouncing off the walls all the time. Others, are naturally a bit more relaxed and low key. Whatever their natural inclinations though, there are a lot of benefits to staying active.
Benefits Of Staying Active
Staying active leads to better overall health. It is also self-reinforcing in many ways. Being active tends to give toddlers more energy, which in turn leads to more activity. This is a great thing to work on at an early age, since the benefits of being more active carry into childhood, and even into adulthood.
Active toddlers have stronger muscles and bones. They also tend to have better posture. Both of these are desirable traits in their own right, and have an impact on how your little one is perceived by others. There are also heart and cardiovascular benefits that become more and more important as your toddler grows up.
Beyond physical benefits, there are a number of mental and emotional benefits of being active. Active toddlers tend to have higher self esteem, and less stress. So, they end up being quite a bit happier than their inactive counterparts.
How To Stay Active With Your Toddler
Ok, so if you’re on board with keeping your toddler active, just how should you go about it? After all, it’s not exactly like you’re going to send a two year old to the gym. The best way to help a toddler to stay active is just to help them play in ways that get them moving around.
- Head to the park. Parks are a great place to go to get in some exercise naturally. Once you’re there, you can run a race, kick a ball, or just run around and have fun.
- Go for a hike. Hikes are quite an adventure for young children. They are bound to see some new and interesting things along the way, and get a lot of great exercise as well. Just be sure to bring a carrier or stroller. Those little legs do tend to get tired after a while.
- Ride a tricycle. There is nothing like a good tricycle ride to get those juices flowing. As they get older, you can transition to a balance bike or a bicycle with training wheels.
- Go for a swim. Swimming is great exercise. Even if they haven’t mastered it yet, they can get a lot of exercise paddling around with the proper flotation device.
- Hit the playground. Playgrounds are pretty much designed to be a fun way for young children to get exercise. So, be sure to take advantage of any that happen to be nearby.
There are lots and lots of different ways to stay active. Try and find the ones that are most fun for your little one, and then mix it up once in a while to keep things interesting. Staying active at a young age will pay huge dividends later in life. It’s pretty much never too early to start.