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The Importance of Creating Healthy Habits At A Young Age

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

It is never to late to start good habits with your children!

Research shows that children develop habits (both good and bad) by the age of nine. As parents, the earlier we start instilling healthy habits the more likely they will stick around into adulthood.

Being a parent is A LOT of work and time seems to run out after cooking meals, household chores, sport practices, and work schedules.

Finding time to be active as a family can be a bit challenging with a hectic schedule, but the there are many benefits to incorporating fitness and movement into your family routines even as soon as your kids start walking. Swimming is a great family activity that can be done at any age. There are numerous health benefits to getting your kids in the pool while they are young with #watersaftey being THE most important reason. In the US, drowning is the #1 cause of unintentional deaths in children ages 1-4. Not only is this beneficial health wise, but can also be a great activity to do as a family for bonding. According to Infinity, Dedicated quality family time has many benefits, including improved academic performance, fewer behavioral issues, increased self-confidence, better conflict resolution, stronger communication skills, and more.

The CDC recommends at least one hour of physical activity a day for kids ages 6 to 17, including aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. And according to Garage Gym Review, studies show that children with parents who encourage active lifestyles are 6x more likely to adopt an active lifestyle.

Make fitness fun and less of a chore! Lead by example for your kids. If they see you being active by going for a run, playing tennis, swimming, lifting weights, doing yoga, the more likely it will become a second nature.

For working parents finding the time to an be especially challenging. Try setting boundaries around on your family time. Pick one day a week where you are present, disconnected from work, fully focused, and committing to the activity. Try to find the joy and happiness in whatever you are doing. If you hate playing tennis then family tennis probably isn't going to work! Start small, like a family walk every evening after dinner. There doesn't have to be a lot of thought of mental energy involved in planning it.

Getting your kids to be active with you doesn’t need to be difficult. Here's a few ides by age group if you are struggling with where to start!

For toddlers

Enroll them in swim class Do a toddler yoga video together Jumping jacks while counting

Run back and forth


Crab walking

School age

One leg hop


Lunges Play tennis

Bike riding


High knees

Leg lifts

Push ups

planks Attend a fitness class together

As a family

Bike or scooter ride

Playing catch in the front yard

Evening at the park

Play a game of tag

Family swim

Kids health states that there are many benefits to exercise starting at a

young age such as:

  • stronger muscles and bones

  • leaner bodies

  • less risk of becoming overweight

  • a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes

  • lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol level

In addition to the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who exercise sleep better. Exercising improves school achievements and makes kids less likely to develop depression. Kids who exercise regularly are also more likely to handle physical and emotional challenges and overall have better mental health.

Exercise can start as early as pregnancy (check with your healthcare provider for safety reasons advised) Garage Gym Reviews mentions a list of benefits to working out while pregnant such as:

  • Prevents excess weight gain

  • Lowers Blood Sugar For Those With Gestational Diabetes

  • Prevents, Reduces, And Helps Manage Anxiety And Depression

  • Reduces Chances Of Preterm Birth

  • Reduces Recovery Time

There are many types of cardio exercises that can safely be done while pregnant including stationary biking, walking, swimming, and yoga. It is also important to listen to your body while working out and to not push your limits.

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