Staying Active in Wintertime

Father and daughter in snow

Winter months can be a challenge for daily physical activity because the need does not change in cold weather. Adults can ensure children (and they) are moving and developing their muscles by providing large muscle play opportunities. Action rhymes are a great way to get everyone moving. What are action rhymes? These are songs or poems set to motion that tell a story. Some classic action rhymes include “Row Your Boat,” “Ring Around the Rosy,” and “Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes.”

When winter weather will allow, walking in the snow is a workout in itself; make it more interesting by searching for animal tracks. Pretending to be those animals when there is snow on the ground is a fun new game. Old-time favorite activities like creating a snow angel, dancing the “Hokey Pokey,” or playing the game “Duck, Duck Goose” are also a workout in the snow. Throwing snowballs at a target (a red circle in the snow made using food coloring) will satisfy the throwing urge and no one gets hurt. Following the leader or marching in a circle lifting those legs as high as they can go and swinging arms gets many muscles working.

Source: Posted on December 24, 2012, by Shannon Lindquist, Michigan State University Extension.

Keeping Active When It Is Cold Outside

Family WalkBeing physically active can sometimes be a challenge when it is cold outside.  However, children still need 60 minutes or more and adults need 30 minutes or more daily of moderate physical activity.  Here are some tips to keep you and your family active when it is cold outside.

  1. Dress in layers and head outside for a family walk.
  2. Go sledding.
  3. Build a snowman.
  4. Try cross-country skiing.
  5. Turn on the music and dance!
  6. Check with your local park and recreation centers for organized indoor sports such as basketball.  They often have leagues for both children and adults.
  7. Choose an exergaming video game like Wii® Fit or Dance Dance Revolution
  8. Go to an indoor pool and swim laps.
  9. Check with the local school to see if it offers open gym in the evenings or on the weekends when community members can play basketball, walk, or participate in other active games.
  10. Limit TV and computer sedentary time to two hours or less daily.

Subscribe to Words on Wellness

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner