Best strengthening exercises for your baby [Infographic]

Exercise isn’t just for older kids and adults…babies reap plenty of benefits, too!

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Your baby may seem like she’s just lying down most of the time, but she’s actually all ready to play and learn!

Even newborns can do certain physical exercises and she’ll benefit because she’ll be working out her muscles to build strength and flexibility.

These muscles are essential in her motor development ― she needs them when she learns how to hold her head up, roll over, sit up, and eventually walk on her own.

Exercising daily will also enable her organs develop healthily. As she laughs and plays with you, she breathes faster and deeper, which helps to develop her heart and lungs.

Her brain develops, too ― infancy is the ideal time to build brain-muscle pathways and connections, which is what physical exercise offers.

It will also be a wonderful opportunity for you to build a bond with your baby. In addition, children who grow up with regular physical activity and exercise are less likely to become obese, or suffer from other weight-related problems and low self-esteem.

Check out our infographic for exercises you can do with your baby.

Infographic: Rachel Lim

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Can’t wait to get started? Here are more tips to ensure that keeping fit with your baby is a fun experience.

· Keep it short
Your baby’s exercise time doesn’t have to be long. 15 to 20 minutes a day will do for a start, and you can lengthen the duration if she enjoys it.

· Make sure your baby is comfortable
You want bubba in a good mood, so make sure that she’s been fed, cleaned and is well-rested. Wait around an hour after her last feeding, so she doesn’t spit up because of the movements.

Follow your baby’s lead and never force her limbs or body into doing certain movements.

· Go slow
Not all babies will enjoy the physical play at first. Follow your baby’s lead and never force her limbs or body into doing certain movements. If she doesn’t seem to enjoy a particular activity, don’t fret. Come back to it in a few days’ time to see if she’s more receptive.

· Remove distractions
Overstimulation can cause her to get fussy, so keep your exercise space calm and simple. Don’t turn on the TV, and find a place away from older siblings, if possible.

· Play soft gentle music
Soothing music not only puts your baby in a good mood, it promotes bonding. You can also sway to the beat of a happy melody, which adds to the fun!

Photo: iStock

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