The fitness industry has progressed so much that it now includes gyms and studios that solely target the youth. One google search will lead you to many options for children at any age. Of course, starting your health and wellness journey is encouraged at any stage of life, but when you start young it becomes part of who you are.
One of my closest friends is a mother of twins and during one of my visits home, I really wanted to get a workout session in with all three of them. I programmed this elaborate workout for us, which was designed to use the twins as load and to lead them through movements that I thought would be interesting for us all. I hadn’t realized that nothing about my workout was going to be interesting to Kirsa’s twins, Lia and Laila.
Toddlers have a bunch of energy and they’re usually naturally active, but do require guidance, especially if you are hoping they continue to seek out wellness in the future. It’s recommended that children get at least 30 minutes of structured activity and at least one hour of free play each day.
Depending on age and ability, your child will have a certain level of motor skills and it’s important to keep these skills in mind when planning and encouraging physical activity.
Toddlers will be able to walk, run, balance, throw, push and pull, and maybe even catch. Playing games, providing toys and opportunities, and attending programs that can enhance and refine these skills is a great idea.
It doesn’t have to be difficult and the possibilities are endless. If you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas for your toddler, think back to when you were a kid. What were some games that you would play and what were some activities that you enjoyed?
I personally liked to play Ring-Around-The-Rosie, Mother May I? and making mud pies outside our house. Some other ideas include Freeze-Tag, having a dance party in the living room, Follow the Leader, Simon Says, LeapFrog, or a simple run-through of Head-Shoulders-Knees-And-Toes.
There’s also plenty of professionally designed programming for toddlers out there. Many places offer traditional disciplines like gymnastics, dance, karate, and swimming, but there are less conventional spots that can be considered “play centers”. Choosing an activity for your child will depend on budget, location, and schedule.
Working out with Kirsa and her daughters really opened up my mind to what fitness programming can look like for everyone, regardless of age and ability. It should always be interesting and exciting and keep you running back for more.