Keeping active is important for the growth and development of infants and children. Infants need tummy time and children need to play and learn basic motor skills (walking, jumping, hopping and skipping) when they are young. They will build on these skills to be able to do other activities such as riding bikes, roller skating and team sports. Parents can get kids off to an active start in life by being active themselves and getting their kids moving. The NYS WIC Program supports activities that are age appropriate.
Why is exercise or physical activity important for my child?
Just like for adults, higher physical activity has been associated with an increased life expectancy and lower risk of heart disease. Physical activity produces overall physical, mental and social benefits.
Physical activity helps:
- control weight
- improve grades in school
- reduce the risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer
- improve mental well-being, like increase self-confidence and higher self-esteem
How do I promote physical activity in my child?
- Be active as a family and reduce sitting time (e.g., watching television, playing computer video games or talking on the phone).
- Make physical activity fun!
- offer learning experiences through games, fitness and sports
- try activities you can do inside and outside
- use physical activity as a reward
- show that you are happy and proud of your child for being active!
- use activities that are right for your child’s age
- Be a good role model: Children want to follow their parents. If you are active, they will want to join in on the fun!
Looking for more information on Physical Activity for your child? Here are a few good brochures to help you get started!
Playing with Your Baby
Playing with Your Toddler
Playing with Your 3 to 5 Year Old
Keeping Their Spirits Up
- Keeping Their Spirits Up Boy – English
- Keeping Their Spirits Up- Boy- Spanish
- Keeping Their Spirits Up- Boy- Chinese
- Keeping Their Spirits Up Girl – English
- Keeping Their Spirits Up- Girl- Spanish
- Keeping Their Spirits Up- Girl- Chinese
Adults (18-64 years)
Children and adolescents (6-17 years)
Young children (2-5 years)
- If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up.
- Learn about the types and amounts of activity that are right for you.
- Choose activities that are appropriate for your fitness level.
- Build up the time you spend before switching to activities that take more effort.
- Use the right safety gear and sports equipment.
- Choose a safe place to do your activity.
- See a health care provider if you have a health problem.