By our Smarty friends at Signature Pediatrics
How can we help our children get exercise when the weather doesn’t cooperate? This can be difficult on the cold winter days, and in the hottest summer months as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 18 get 60 minutes of “moderate” exercise daily. This does not need to be all at once, and can be broken into smaller chunks of time, such as four 15-minute periods.
There are many indoor activities that children can enjoy. Indoor sports such as basketball, tennis or indoor soccer are good ways to get your child’s heart pumping. Swimming is a wonderful year-round indoor activity, and taking swim lessons or signing up for a swim team are great ways to promote this life-long activity. Of course, these more formal activities generally require a membership or fee, and transportation.
When stuck at home on a cold or rainy day, think of simple childhood games to get kids moving. Many require little supervision or cost.
– Games with balloons, such as balloon volleyball and keeping the balloon in the air are fun and easy.
– For kids who enjoy a little competition, races such as the potato race are great. (Place two wide mouthed jars or small bowls at a finish line. Mark a starting point about 15 feet away, and give each child a potato. They’ll race, carrying the potato between their knees, to see who can drop it into the jar first, no hands allowed. If racers drop the potato, they must go back to the starting line).
– Consider choosing active video games such as those on the Wii or Kinect, or simply turn on the radio and start your own dance party!
There is no reason why you can’t go outside on cold winter days. Don’t forget that if dressed warmly.
– Playing running games such as tag or red light/green light
– Taking the dog for a vigorous walk will help them keep warm, and as an added bonus they will probably sleep better at night!