Help your kids stay active all winter long

December 22, 2016

By Maggie Klee

When you’re trapped inside avoiding harsh temperatures and mountains of snow, it can be tough to feel motivated to stay active. A cold, windy day makes everyone want to curl up on the couch with hot cocoa and a movie—but regular physical exercise is so important for your health and helps you reduce your cancer risk. It’s also critical that you help your children establish healthy habits early on to set them up for a healthy future. Help your kids stick to a habit of exercising daily with these tips to keep moving, even when it’s cold.

  1. Jazz up the play area: Turn your den, guest bedroom, basement, garage or wherever your kids like to play into a temporary wintertime gym. Use tape to make a hopscotch board, put up a small basketball hoop, set up nets for floor hockey, organize a jump rope or hula hoop competition―there are endless possibilities!
  2. Try out a new indoor sport: Take this opportunity to let your kids explore other passions! They can try something new at a local ice rink, like skating or hockey. Other kid-friendly and fun activities include gymnastics, dance lessons or karate.
  3. Use technology for good: You probably don’t want your kids spending endless hours in front of screens, but new active video games can actually encourage kids to get moving. You can also find free children’s workouts on sites like YouTube that are easy to do right in your living room.
  4. Liven up family game night: Swap cards and board games for games that keep you moving like charades, Twister or even karaoke. Don’t forget the healthy snacks!
  5. Embrace the cold: If you’re feeling brave, bundle up and head outside for fun you can only have in the winter! Go on a walking tour to see your neighbors’ lights and decorations or check your local recreation center for upcoming outdoor run/walks. Of course, don’t forget about traditional winter activities like sledding, skiing or building a snowman.

As the temperature drops, fight the urge to slow down and spend hours on the couch. It’s never too early to think about preventing cancer, and with these tips, staying active can be something the whole family enjoys despite the cold weather. For more information about reducing your cancer risk, visit preventcancer.org. Now get out and get moving!

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