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Fun to be fit and getting your little ones moving

Parents with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers already know that the little ones are already very active as soon as they begin to crawl, but with all the talk about obesity and diabetes becoming more inclusive of younger children, they are looking for structured and fun activities to get their little ones interested in fitness. Clubs and fitness organizations are making the decision to provide activities for the younger children, and Sarasota has many choices for venues that offer fitness for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Fun fitness for mom and preschooler
Photo by Charlie Crowhurst

Fitness activities for young children are important for physical, social, and even healthy cognitive development. Toddlers should be involved in a fun fitness activity for at least 3 hours a day, with activities spread throughout the day. Preschoolers benefit from slightly longer periods of activity. Toddlers and preschoolers build strong bones and muscles, develop a healthy heart and lungs, and children who begin fitness activities at an early age have a head start on preventing obesity. Young children sleep well after participating in fitness activities. Group fitness activities and participating with a parent or caregiver promote skills in sharing, getting along with others, and taking turns. Young children can also benefit from fitness activities in that their self-esteem is strengthened and a feeling of belonging can be developed.

Summer is the perfect time to introduce your toddler or preschooler to fun fitness activities. Sarasota has many venues that offer fitness activities for young children that are developmentally appropriate.

*Fun To be Fit Mommy and Me classes are being offered every Friday this summer at the Gulf Gate Library. Classes are offered for moms with children ages 1-5 years from 10:15-11:00 a.m. The library is currently located next to Jc Penneys in the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall at 8201 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. You may call 941-861-1241 for information about this fitness class. You may log on at www.Funtobefitkids.com to learn more about fitness for the little ones.

*Fit Kids at Acrofit Gymnastics is offering developmentally appropriate classes every Friday this summer for ages 3-5 years. Parents may drop their children off for classes and registration is not required. You may call 941-923-2100 for information about these classes. You may also log on at www.AcrofitGymnastics-Sarasota.com for information about gymnastics for the little ones.

*Parent+Child swim classes are offered every Saturday until August 16th this summer for parents with children ages 6 months-3 years at the Frank G. Berlin YMCA in Sarasota. There is a $30 fee for members and a $45 fee for non-members. Registration is required, and you may call 941-955-8194, ext. 122 for information.

Put some fun fitness into your toddler's or preschooler's summer days this year and introduce fitness for life.