What do you think of when winter comes to mind? It might be relaxing evenings sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace as snow falls outside your window. In most cases, these images, while pleasant, are usually not very active ones, and those types of images should be in mind too. Although the weather outside may not seem like the type to encourage exercise, you should anyway. One of the best ways to make this a lifetime habit for your children is to ensure that they’re active during this time of year from early on.
This seems so simple. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your children need to solely engage in indoor activities. Of course, if the temperatures are starting to dip well below zero, then you might want to reassess the situation. Otherwise, bundle up. Get them in a hat, thick socks, boots and gloves. Also keep in mind that simply moving will help keep their heart rates and body temperatures raised.
The benefits of going to playgrounds and playing outside are undisputed. Exercise is an amazing way to increase creativity and learning capability in our children. All the soft playground materials and playground safety will do no good unless we are able to keep our kids active during the winter.
Playground Safety Tips for the winter
If your young ones want to play on a playground during this time of the year, they can as long as you engage in some playground safety. For example, while dressing them warmly, skip the scarf. That can get tangled within playground equipment. Inspect the equipment for ice and snow and how those might have affected it. Avoid a playground entirely if slippery conditions exist.
“We have to be reasonable, kids aren’t going to want to spend hours outside this winter since that safe playground surfacing is now frozen. But, if do it right they can have safe fun at a playground despite the cold weather.”
It can be great to be active in your own home. You can have a dance competition. If you have a treadmill or workout equipment at home, you can have your children use those if they’re old enough to. Engaging in yoga is another activity that can be done in your own home. However, it’s helpful to avoid cabin fever and regularly get out and about and head elsewhere. Some away-from-home indoor options that are especially popular this time of year include skating rinks, basketball courts, bowling alleys and swimming pools.
Give Your Animals Some Exercise Too
If your children are old enough, have them regularly take your dog on a walk. Make sure to supervise if they’re not old enough to go on their own, but, if they’re able, allow them to handle the responsibilities with your oversight. This will provide both the canines and the children who you care for to get some well-needed exercise. Let your pet run around and enjoy being outside. That soft playground surfacing can be fun for them even if it is below freezing.
Yes, you read that right. Gaming can provide a significant amount of physical activity for children. Although most games are focused on exercising the mind, a few have physical activity at the forefront of what they offer. Options include PlayStation Move, Xbox One Kinect and Nintendo Wii. It should be noted that children who participate in these games tend to start to exercise in other ways too.
However, with that said, do make sure to limit non-exercise-related screen time. It’s fine to allow children to enjoy screen time since much of it does help strengthen the brain, but it should be limited.
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