Keeping Active in the Cold: Indoor Exercise Ideas For Kids

By Mary Nicholson

Well, the holidays are over and winter has set in – now what?  Thoughts of hibernation cross my mind as an ideal option, but not a very realistic one (I can dream, can’t I?).  However, because we live in the 21st century, staying active, even during the winter months, is more important than ever!  Now if you’re thinking about things you can do to keep your blood pumping, there are a lot of options that don’t require leaving your house/apartment/dorm/etc.  Here are some simple things I’ve done (feel free to borrow): stair climbing/running; jumping rope in the garage; jogging trail (start in living room – jog to dining room – twice around the table – thru the kitchen – thru laundry room and turn around – back thru kitchen to family room – around coffee table – up and down the stairs – back to living room; repeat many times); and exercise videos.

If it’s just you that you have to be concerned about, it’s not that hard to keep active indoors when it’s cold and nasty outside.  It does get trickier when there are kids involved.  Sure, it’s nice to cuddle up and watch movies or tv when Old Man Winter is near.  But keep in mind, it’s important for kids to be physically active every day for at least 60 minutes!  Indoor recess at school may not include a lot of physical activity, so be sure and check to see what they’ve done.  A Wii or other gaming system can be a great way to burn some calories and have fun at the same time.  But if you don’t happen to have that sort of thing, there are a lot of on-line resources with all kinds of ideas for indoor activities.  Some can be done in teams or as a family/group activity – check out Panty Hose Polo.  Not only does it bring out the giggles, it helps develop coordination.  Another one that is great for developing balance is Walking on Air -it’s kind of like a do-it-yourself BOSU ball for little ones!  There are many more ideas on the Disney Family Fun website:

Another place to check out is the Family Education website.  The activities can be sorted by age, and there are a number of other resources there, too!

No matter what or how you choose to keep active this winter, a great way to refuel when you’re done is with hot chocolate.  I’m not talking about the instant, add hot water kind either.  It’s simple to make, so have the kids help!

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