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20th Jan 2016

Is Your Toddler Getting Enough Exercise? Probably Not, Say Doctors

It might seem like your little tike never stops moving, but the latest research suggests that, in reality, nine out of ten toddlers do not even get enough daily exercise to keep them healthy. 

Children under the age of five need at least three hours of physical activity a day to strengthen their bones and muscles, help them develop cognitive skills, improve their sleep and boost brain development.

According to the results of a new study by The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC), however, less than nine per cent of kids aged between two and four get the recommended amount of exercise.

The result is that physical activity does not become ’embedded’ in the child’s life, making them less likely to grow up into an active adult.

According to Elaine McNish, Director, BHFNC:

‘We know that active children are more likely to become active adults so it’s vitally important to get it right at the beginning to give children opportunities to play from a young age and develop a lifelong love of being active.’

So, what’s the best way to make sure your tot is getting enough physical activity? Try to work one of these fun ideas into your schedule every day:

Walk to the shop or creche: Sure, walking with a toddler can be time consuming, but a stroll first thing or in the evening can double up as some great quality time if you literally stop and smell the roses along the way.

Shake your booty: Turn up the radio and get down to your favourite music in the kitchen. The more energetic your moves, the more your toddler will enjoy it and try to copy you.

Kick a ball: Grab a football and head for the nearest park or green area. Kicking a ball is not only a fun way to pass 30 minutes, it also improves your child’s hand-eye coordination, timing and attention.

How much daily exercise does your toddler get? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.