Keeping Your Family Active in the Colder Months

Article at a Glance

  • Cold winter months often mean less time is spent being active.
  • Physical activity helps improve fitness, winter mood swings, and overall health.
  • Embrace the winter season by keeping your family active both indoors and outdoors.

We all become more sedentary when winter arrives, but just because the bears are hibernating doesn’t mean it’s good for humans. It’s important for kids and adults to stay active year-round. According to the National Institutes of Health, a lack of physical activity can lead to depressed moods and more mood swings for people of every age.

This winter, plan to avoid the winter slump with activities that lead your family to fitness gains, good times, and better all-around health.

Outdoor Activities

The simplest way to keep your family active in winter is to embrace the season. Let it snow! There are plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy:

  • Visit the local ice skating rink.
  • Rake leaves and shovel driveways for the neighbors.
  • Suit up with cold-weather gear so you can continue to bike and run.
  • Go on a family walk to see the Christmas lights.
  • Try a winter sport like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.
  • Find a hill to hike up and go sledding (wear helmets!).
  • Build a snowman and make snow angels.
  • Work with your kids to set early spring fitness goals like a race or a challenging hike.

Indoor Activities at Home

Bundling up for an outdoor activity takes some time. For a quick hit of activity without Utah’s poor air quality, try these at-home ideas with your kids.

  • Work out with the family. Invent your own routine, or stream a fitness class. Yoga, burpees, jumping jacks, and jumping rope can be fun to attempt together.
  • Play childhood throwback games that require movement. Games like charades, Duck-Duck-Goose, Hide and Seek, and Red Light-Green Light are fun activities for small kids and don’t cost a thing.
  • Get creative with household items. Consider building a fort out of couch cushions, racing in laundry baskets, or simultaneously having fun and cleaning with broom hockey.
  • Connect and engage with your older kids through active video games. Wii and Xbox Kinect offer games like Punch-Out, Wii Fit Plus, and Dance Dance Revolution that really get the heart rate up (it’s also hilarious to record and watch later).
  • Clear away tripping hazards, set your indoor Christmas lights to “strobe mode” and have a dance party.

Indoor Activities Away From Home

Our homes can feel pretty small by January, so try some of these ideas to stay warm while keeping active outside the home:

  • Go bowling and be sure to type silly names in the scorecard.
  • Challenge yourselves with a new sport like indoor rock climbing.
  • Make Tuesdays your family swim night at the local pool.
  • Bounce around at a trampoline park.
  • Go on long walks inside the local mall.
  • See what activities the local recreation center offers.
  • Enroll your kids in organized activities like indoor soccer, basketball, martial arts, dance, etc.
  • Hit the gym by taking turns watching the kids, swapping childcare with another couple, or using the gym daycare.
  • Budget for regular family visits to a group fitness class, play gym, or indoor trampoline park.

Winter doesn’t have to be a dreaded season. It should be enjoyed. With a little creativity, even those of us that don’t love snow can have fun, stay active, and come closer together as a family. For more ideas on staying active inside, check out the article, Do Run in the House.

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