When the temperature drops, most people like to curl up on the couch with a good book and a steaming mug of hot cocoa. While a lazy day indoors might be good for the soul now and then, it’s important to keep moving your body, as chilly as it may be.
Engaging in physical activity is even more important for your little ones. Kids need at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day to support their physical and mental development. Of course, ice, sleet and snow may make it more challenging to get outside and play. However, there are many other ways to introduce exercise to your kids and keep them healthy and active this winter.
1. Take a Fitness Class
If it’s too cold to go outside, but you don’t want to stay at home, head to your local YMCA or fitness center for an exercise class. Look for kid-friendly classes that make working out fun, especially for little ones who would rather be at home on the couch. Yoga, Zumba and even water aerobics might be a good fit or a fun place to start.
2. Establish a Fitness Routine
Once you find a group fitness class that you and the kids enjoy, commit to going every few days or once a week. Plug this class into your family’s schedule just as you would with work, school and playdates. Add it to your calendar, establish a routine and incorporate it into your lives on a regular basis. As you stick to it, your children will come to expect and accept that Wednesday nights are for Zumba.
3. Play Active Video Games
Sometimes, you just can’t manage to pull your teen away from their game console. On these days, choose to make gaming more active and involve the whole family. Invest in a few interactive games like Just Dance, Wii Fit U and Shape Up or buy a few virtual reality headsets and really get moving. Award bonus points if someone breaks a sweat.
4. Visit Local Playgrounds
Just because it’s chilly outside doesn’t mean you have to spend all winter indoors. Bundle up and head to a local playground for an hour or two. The slide may be wet and the stairs might be snowy, but your kids can still have fun climbing around. Encourage them to use their imaginations. Maybe the playground is a fort or a castle and they must defend it with snowballs. How can they use the equipment to their advantage?
5. Try Winter Sports
If the kiddos are feeling extra adventurous, try a few winter sports this season. Hit up the ice rink for some skating lessons or take to the slopes for a full day of skiing. Grab an inner tube and sled down that massive hill at your local golf course or park. Try snowboarding or snowshoeing, too. You never know which sport might stick with your kids and turn into a winter passion.
6. Put the Kids In Charge
Are you still having a difficult time getting your kids moving? Put them in charge of choosing an after-school activity or park to explore. Whether you end up at a belly dancing class, a climbing wall or another fitness class, they all count as exercise. Moreover, your child will feel they have control over the situation and choose something they truly enjoy. Piquing their interest like this is the key to forming long-lasting habits and fostering a love for movement.
7. Have a Chore Race
The dishes need washing, the carpet needs vacuuming and the kids still need their exercise for the day. Why not kill two birds with one stone by having a chores race? Make it a competition to see who can finish cleaning the fastest and award a small prize for the winner. Regardless of how quickly they move or who wins, the house will be clean and the little ones will have gotten their exercise in.
8. Use Exercise as a Reward
Have you ever sent your kids outside to play when they were making too much noise? You’re not the only one. However, forcing a child to play or exercise can increase their resistance tp physical activity. Instead of treating play as punishment, use it to reward good behavior or give kids a break from school or chores. Your little one might be more than happy to make snowmen if it gives their mind a rest from virtual classes.
Join In the Fun
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises adults to exercise for at least two and a half hours each week. Yet, more than 75% of adults can’t manage to meet this standard. Whether they’re working long hours or simply too tired to work out, this lack of exercise is taking a toll on millions of Americans’ health and well-being.
However, you do have the choice to switch up your routine and begin making health a priority. Better yet, you have the opportunity to get fit with your family. Going on wintery hikes, playing Just Dance and engaging in other fun activities will improve your health and help you grow closer as a family. Exercise can’t get any better than that, right?
For those who prefer a more traditional home-like experience when on vacation, a timeshare can make sense. If you’ve gotten many years of good use out of your timeshare and now want to get rid of it, a timeshare cancellation company like Timeshare Freedom Group or Lonestar transfer may be able to help.