The importance and need for physical activity in our lives, especially for kids, is a message we hear time and time again. Research continues to prove kids who eat a well-balanced diet and are active for at least 60 minutes a day tend lead a healthier life and perform better academically. As parents or caregivers it’s essential that we do our part to ensure our kids stay active outside of school.
As adults, it’s important to make sure the kids in our lives are active as much as possible regardless of the season. During the winter months we need to get creative and work hard to ensure that our kids – and we as adults – get the exercise and physical activity that is so important. What to do when the weather outside is frightful and prevents you from enjoying those outdoor activities? Here are a few ideas on how to keep your kids (and yourself) active indoors during the harsh winter months:
1. Your local park district can be a great resource during the winter months. Many offer a variety of programs and classes for kids of all ages from toddler to teen. Your kids can participate in activities such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and swimming. There are even programs for the entire family. Some park districts offer a variety of programs and classes from arts and crafts and Legos to sports and fitness. There is something for everyone!
2. There are even some interactive video games to keep kids moving! Kids can virtually play games like basketball, tennis or baseball. Another favorite is Just Dance – your kids will get quite the workout keeping up with the dance moves on the screen. Kids will surely get the physical activity they need, never have to leave the house and have fun doing it!
3. Indoor playgrounds can be life saver for younger children. Many malls offer play areas that feature obstacle courses and plenty of opportunity to run and climb. Another option is to visit indoor facilities that offer trampolines, slides, moonwalks and other interactive games and activities.
4. Go ice skating (or roller skating) – it’s a lot of fun and you can get quite a workout!
5. On Demand and even Netflix offer exercise programs geared toward kids and the entire family. Don’t have access to cable or the Internet? There are always videos. Visit your local library to check out exercise videos.
Just as important as physical activity are active brain breaks. Go online to search for additional ideas on indoor activities – from physical activity to arts and crafts and even cooking! A great place to start is to visit Fuel Up to Play 60. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the largest in-school health and wellness program in the country, and it provides great online tools and resources for families to implement at home.