Winter is a hard time for everyone when it comes to staying active – it seems that we all have the inclination to hibernate. This can be particularly disheartening for parents who understand the need for their children and teens to stay active as a part of a good mental and physical lifestyle, but don’t know what to do during the cold months.
Here are just a few recommendations for activities that your whole family can take part in indoors, outdoors and, as always, at your local library.
- Hiking: For those living in temperate climates hiking in an area forest preserve can be a fun, low-impact way to exercise in the cool months and throughout the year. Check out a book on regional plants and animals from your local library to add an educational aspect to your hike through the great outdoors.
- Cross-country skiing: While downhill skiing and snowboarding tend to beat cross-country skiing in terms of popularity, it is the clear front-runner in terms of aerobic benefits. Also it's easier for younger, less experienced skiers to learn.
- Ice skating: The great thing about ice skating is that it can count as both and indoor and outdoor activity, as many warmer locales have have indoor rinks. Additionally, it is a great cardio and muscle building form of exercise.
- Exercise games: Replace your kid’s usual gaming time with games like Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit.
- Indoor batting cages: While most of us will associate baseball and softball with spring and summer, indoor batting cages are fun thing to do all year long!
- Swimming: It may sound a bit crazy to go out in the cold for a dip in the pool, but check with local gyms, community centers, YMCAs and even hotels about the availability of indoor pools, which most make available for a minimal fee. It’s also a great time to get your kids swimming lessons, so that they can enjoy outdoor swimming once the warm weather returns.
At your library:
- Dance/Music and movement: From ballroom to Zumba, many libraries across the country offer a variety of all-age classes to get you moving. These, of course, include music and movement classes for pre-school age children – it’s never too early to cultivate a sense of rhythm.
- Yoga: Another low-impact form of exercise that has seen an increase in popularity at libraries is yoga, including "Mommy and Me" yoga classes for younger children.
For more ideas on how you and your children can stay fit and healthy, check out the Stay Fit section of the Connect with your kids @ your library Family Activity Guide.
Photo by Rob_