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Question: How do I know if my toddler is getting enough exercise?

Doctor Woolfson's Answer:

Health professionals advise that children aged two years and over should have at least one hour of moderate exercise every day. A lot of this can occur naturally as part of your toddler’s daily routine, for example, walking around the house, running in the garden, climbing on large play equipment, toddling beside you on outdoor trips, and as part of his normal energetic play. Another professional recommendations is that a toddler aged two to three years should not be seated without moving for more than an hour at a time (except when he is sleeping, of course!). I suggest you keep a basic diary of the exercise your toddler takes each day. Do this as best you can, for a week. This will give you an idea of whether or not he’s getting enough exercise.

So make sure your toddler has plenty of active play every day, whenever possible, indoors and out, and that he doesn’t spend most of the day sitting passively in front of a television or computer screen. Short bursts of active play through the day are better than one long energetic session. The same goes for walking, running and climbing stairs. It’s very important to keep these activities fun – if your toddler doesn’t enjoy them, he won’t want to continue. If you make a conscious decision now to involve him in enough physical exercise, you will create a healthy lifestyle for him that should carry on through childhood and into adulthood.