Babies and young children love being active and moving around freely. We learn more physical skills in our first five years than at any other time in our lives – so it is really important that young children have time to practice and develop these skills. If children learn to love being active when they are young, they are more likely to continue taking part in sport and physical activity when they are an adult.
Babies and young children can often be left sitting for long periods of time, for example in a high chair, car seat or watching TV. Sitting or lying still for long periods of time can be harmful as it can lead to health problems later on. It is important that we reduce the amount of time babies and young children are sedentary (sitting or lying still)…even babies before they can walk need practice movements such as reaching for and grasping objects, kicking and touching.
Children and young people should take part in appropriate physical activity every day and should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting for extended periods).
Being active from an early age is important as it has many benefits including: Maintains health and weight | Develops muscles and bones | Improves self confidence | Develops new social skills | Improve their overall health and wellbeing.
It is well documented that higher levels of physical activity in childhood can lead to continued participation in later life.
It is important to establish high levels of physical activity as early as possible to encourage children to stay active enough to benefit their health and to support continued interest and participation throughout adult life.
Please scroll down for more information on ensuring your child leads a active, happy and healthy life.
As well as structured activity sessions, physical activity can be built into daily lives. There are lots of ways to do this but some examples include:
- Walk or Cycle to School
- Limit time playing on the computer / watching television
- Family games at the local park for example tag, rounders, tennis
- Do an activity challenge together e.g. Fun Run, Walk
- Try an new activity with family and friends
- Park in a space further away from the shops
- Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk
Family Activities and Sessions
Across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland there are a variety of Physical Activity Programmes suitable for families to be active together.
To find out how to become more active in your local area then contact your local Physical Activity and Sport Team, using the link provided.
We here at Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport can help you find a range of opportunities to take part in physical activity, sport and wellbeing opportunities in your local area.
Use our Get Active Search Engine to find local clubs and organisations, sessions, facilities such as parks, open spaces, outdoor gyms and leisure centres near you.