It’s never too early to be active. Even babies need physical activity for proper growth and development. Early physical activity motivates babies to move and build motor skills to reach movement milestones such as crawling or sitting up. As a child develops, these motor skills eventually turn into walking, jumping, and climbing.

Early activity also helps infants and toddlers maintain a healthy weight. Although it may seem too early to think about weight, research shows a baby being overweight leads to delayed gross motor development and susceptibility to obesity at later stages in life. Babies don’t need an exercise routine. Make playtime active time by implementing 5- to 10-minute play activities throughout the day to get them moving.

Virginia Aparicio is Health and Human Science educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or vaparici@purdue.edu.

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