Winter is here, and it’s cold, wet, and dark, and the couch and bed look inviting. Exercising during the cold months may be the last thing on your mind, but children need to keep active during the winter months despite the weather. According to the CDC, children and adolescents should exercise at least 60 minutes in moderate aerobic exercise and take part in a physically intense activity at least three times a week.
To help you get the recommended amount of exercise your children need, we’ve put together a list of fun activities to get you and your children moving this winter season. Let’s get started.
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Take the children outside to play, but ensure they have dressed appropriately. Dress in layers. Wear winter boots instead of gym shoes. Thicker, warmer socks, a hat and mittens or gloves. Below are some activities you can do with your children outdoors:
- Ice skating
- Making a snowman ( if there’s snow)
- Making an ice angel
- Making an igloo
- Playing with friends
- Jogging or running
- Riding a bike
- Bird watching
- Nature walking
2.Workout while gaming
If your children love to play video games, consider investing in games that allow them to move. Today’s modern gaming systems, like Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch, have great family options to get everybody moving without leaving the warmth of your living room. We suggest the following games for you to check out.
- Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch. Team up with a sentient ring and defeat a body-building dragon called Dragaux
- Fitness Boxing 2 for Nintendo Switch. Twist and punch your way through modern dance songs.
- Just Dance for Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, and Xbox One. Dance your way to the modern songs of Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and more.
- Kinect Adventure for Xbox. Dodge, jump, duck and kick your way through the adventure.
- Zumba for Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Dance and exercise your way with rhythm and music.
As a bonus, a recent study in the National Library of Medicine showed that children who regularly participate in video games are more likely to take up exercise in real life.
3. Go to an indoor facility
If the cold is not for you, you can bring your children to an indoor facility like an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, ice skating rink, or even a gym. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go indoor rock climbing. If you have exercise machines at home like treadmills, stationary bikes or elliptical machines, you can encourage your children to use these as well. You can even create simple rewards to motivate and encourage each other.
4. Try an exercise video
If you don’t have time to take your children outside, you may want to try kid-friendly exercise videos to help them get moving over the winter. There are many ways you can get an exercise video. You can try the local library and borrow one or check YouTube for free exercise videos to keep your kids and everyone in the family active. To get you started, here are some recommendations:
- Cosmic Kids Yoga. This popular Youtube channel combines yoga instruction with fantastical stories. Your kids will surely enjoy following the movements in these 10 to 30-minute videos.
- Fitness Blender. This site offers 25-minute fitness workout videos for children, featuring crab crawls and games like Red light green light.
- Pancake Manor. This Youtube channel features puppets for preschool video is only two to three minutes long, perfect for the attention span of little children.
- Body Coach TV. This Youtube channel features PE Coach Joe and has over 250 free workout videos fool kids who want to keep moving. Each you and your kids to choose from.
- Movement with Kids with Jamie by Aaptive. This Youtube channel features kid-friendly yoga moves on colorful yoga mats.
5. Make chores fun
You can keep kids moving and do household chores simultaneously by setting up timers and rewards on who can beat the timer when doing tasks around the house. Wake up the children’s competitive spirit by making them jump jacks and squats while cleaning the floor or loading the laundry.
6. Visit a library, art gallery or museum
This wintertime, exercise not only your children’s bodies but their mind as well. Take the children to the library, or walk around an art gallery or museum. In this way, they’ll also get to walk and learn something new.
7. Enroll them in an indoor class
Enrolling your children in an indoor class is a great way to keep a consistent exercise schedule and meet new friends. Check out the offerings in your local gym or area to see what fun activities you can enroll your children in this winter.
8. Do everyday activities
Everyday activities count as exercise as long as they increase your children’s heart rates. Incorporate things like getting the mail, shoveling snow, or walking the dog into your children’s daily routine. These activities can go towards the 60-minute-a-day recommended physical activity.
9. Play indoor games
Playing games can make staying indoors fun and active for your family. You can offer prizes to whoever wins to make it more exciting. Some of the games you may want to try are:
- Musical chairs
- Simon says
- Duck, Duck, Goose
- Tossing an inflated balloon or a ball ( if allowed)
- Green light, red light
Winter is fun!
Keep warm this winter by moving and playing games. Whether you love being indoors or outdoors this winter, these activities ensure your children get the daily exercise they need to stay healthy.
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