KEEPING YOUR FAMILY ACTIVE THIS WINTER

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It’s cold outside; and for some of you, the temperatures are below freezing. That means it can be tough getting your family off the couch to exercise. If you find yourselves sinking deeper into the cushions, try these ideas for making winter activity fun.

Snow Play
Got snow on the ground? Then you’ve got options. Get out there as a family and build a snowman or make snow angels. Go sledding or snow tubing (or just slide on a piece of cardboard). How about a sled-pulling race? Big people are the “sled dogs” pulling small people. Tag and soccer are great games in the snow. And, hey, how about a friendly snowball fight?

Winter Sports
Head out to the local rink for ice skating. Sign the kids up for a hockey league. Or, if you’ve got access to the equipment, try skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. A family outing on cross-country skis or snowshoes can be unforgettable, and can burn lots of calories.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Whether you’re on a winter hike or just out walking the dog together, the “5-senses walk” can make the time magical. It’s easy. Get the kids to focus on one of their senses at a time. Then ask questions to deepen the experience. (What is the farthest sound you can hear? Can you touch something fuzzy? Who can spot something pink?) You can also challenge them to find something soft…round…fragrant. You get the idea.

House Play
Too cold to play outside? Throw an indoor dance party. Let the kids pick their favorite tunes. Better yet, choreograph dance moves together. You could also play active video games, design a treasure hunt, or turn your living room into a circuit training course.

Indoor Sports & Fitness Classes
Don’t have the energy to design indoor games? Fair enough. Hit the rec center and sign the kids (and yourself) up for a fitness class like swimming, gymnastics, or basketball. You could also go rock climbing at a local climbing gym.

Home Improvement
Make cleaning the house a family affair. Give age-appropriate jobs to each kid. Or start a home improvement project. Time to paint the kids’ bedroom? Let them pick the color.

Indoor Movement—Somewhere Else
Have some indoor fun when you take everyone bowling, explore a museum, play at the science center, or try laser tag. You’ll get plenty of exercise and, just as importantly, you’ll get everyone out of the house.

So get ‘em up. Get ‘em out. And if you return all rosy-cheeked and out of breath, you deserve that cocoa on the couch.