Good habits start early. There are many reasons to encourage your children to exercise; among them to fight health issues...
Good habits start early. There are many reasons to encourage your children to exercise; among them to fight health issues linked to obesity, to build a strong body, and so that your child can lead a happier life. 468654_baby_in_grass.jpgWhen your baby is even very small you can start to encourage daily movements. Get started young and your baby is more likely to make movement and exercise an important part of his life.
  1. Encourage tummy time. Babies need more tummy time than you might think. At least two or three 15 minute tummy time sessions per day -- but more won't hurt. Try attending a baby gym or gently placing baby on an exercise ball. Always supervise tummy time activity.
  2. Allow freedom. If you don't baby proof than your baby's freedom of movement is highly limited. Baby proof well so that your little has the freedom to explore, crawl, and move. Never keep your baby in a stroller, baby seat, or walker for long periods. He should be free to move about. Make sure he gets outside movement time when the weather is nice as well.
  3. Push toys are fun for babies and encourage movement and walking. One way I got my little moving as a baby was pull-along toys. Cedar LOVED these and would first crawl and later walk after his pull-toys for hours. Pull-toy play should always be supervised because your baby might try to eat the string or wrap it around his neck but if you're right there it's a great way to get him moving.
When you start young and continue to encourage exercise as he grows, your baby will develop a life-long love of movement. PP Keyword: HABITS worth 50 points good through 12/2/07

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