Ask Ginger: Staying Active During the Winter
You've got questions ... we’ve got answers! Email your queries about healthy foods, physical activity and screen time for kids and Ginger will answer them here on the Phipps blog.
Q: The winter months are here and staying active is becoming more difficult. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep moving during the colder weather? (Shawn, North Versailles)
A: Great question! Don’t let colder weather keep you shut inside the house with your kids getting more and more restless every day. There are plenty of ways to keep physically active when everyone is properly bundled up for lower temperatures. There are also indoor activities that still promote movement while limiting the number of broken house items. Remember that it is recommended children are active for one hour every single day, and that adults get at least 150 minutes in per week. So let’s keep moving this winter!
What can you do outside when it’s cold? First thing’s first: bundle up!
- If there is snow on the ground don’t let it slow you down. Keep warm with the proper winter clothing and accessories like a coat, hat, mittens and boots. If the roads are safe, take the kids out for a day of sledding. This activity is loads of fun and when you make the hike back to the top of hill you’re getting in a great workout!
- If you are stuck in your own neighborhood because the roads are covered in snow, use it to your advantage. Take a walk to the nearest public park or stay in your own yard and build a snowman, make snow angels or build a snow fort. Make sure to be safe and steer clear of roads when playing with your children.
- If there isn’t any snow to make use of, there are still other activities you can try. Take a trip to the local ice rink and try ice-skating! It might be an opportunity to teach your child something new, or even be a learning experience for the whole family!
What can you do indoors to keep moving?
- If you can’t get out of the house, don’t worry. Pull out all the extra blankets and pillows and make a fort out of them!
- Play a family game that involves movement such as Twister or Hide and Go Seek. You could even create some kind of scavenger hunt for your child within the house. Just get creative with what you have laying around the house!
- Make use of indoor facilities near you when driving conditions are safe—there might be opportunities to swim in an indoor pool, shoot hoops at an open gym, or even to spend an afternoon at the bowling alley.
The key to keep moving during the cold winter months is to use your imagination! Don’t forget to use your kids for help with ideas. You’d be surprised with what your child could think up for fun activities that will keep you both moving!