Getting Your Family To Exercise... Even During Winter
This is the first in a series of articles aimed at helping you keep your family healthy. We'll look at all aspects of health, from exercise to eating and even the safety of the products we use every day to clean our homes and ourselves.
It's becoming increasingly difficult for parents to get kids active as the internet, television and video games become more widely used by children. It's easier to get the family moving in the summer when there's no school and the weather is nice enough to be outside. But what about in the winter when snow days and bad weather abound? We have some ideas that will get your family active and loving it this winter.
1. Get outside. This may be an obvious one, but it's especially important in the winter months since most people don't get enough daily vitamin D from the sun. A 15-minute walk around the block or romp in the snow with the kids will burn some calories while getting necessary, though limited, sun exposure. (And it should go without saying-- make sure you have some form of sun protection on!) If you have a dog, another great option is to have the kids toss a Frisbee around the yard with Fido. Everyone will get some exercise and have fun in the process.
2. Mix up the activities. Maybe your kids are tired of sledding and are looking for a new outdoor activity. A great one is snow shoe-ing. Places like Ocean State Job Lot carry affordable snow shoes this time of year, just be sure to call and ask what their inventory is like. You can trek around the neighborhood or your own yard, or if you're up for an adventure, try it over at the dunes behind Hopkins Hill School. This is a great activity for the whole family and will work out your legs and core, and your laughing muscles, too.
3. Bust out the video games. Your kids will love this one. If you have one of those interactive game systems like a Wii or Kinect, you get can the whole family involved in some great physical activity. You can play everything from bowling to tennis without even leaving the house.
4. Make exercise fun. Challenge your kids to a rousing game of hide-and-seek. They'll be dashing around looking for great hiding spots and getting their heart rate up in the process. You could make it a little competitive, too, and see who can do the most jumping jacks in one minute, or turn a large space in your home into a makeshift relay race. The sky is the limit with creativity; just ask your kids for some ideas.
5. Take time for yourself. The best thing a parent can do is set a great example for their kids in regards to healthy living. Whether it's morning yoga or an evening jog on the treadmill, when your kids see you working out, they'll want to be active, too. Plus, it's always a good thing to make time to take care of yourself since you're always taking care of others!
Join us next time for a look at some of the household products you use all the time that may be unhealthy for your family.