By Misty Owens-Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates Instructor
Brrrr….it’s cold out there! Sure it’s cold outside, but letting the kids hang out in front of the T.V. is not an option when the rates of childhood obesity is reaching an all time high. As a mom of three children, I understand the challenges of keeping my children fit during the cold blistery winter months. I found that there are just 3 simple steps you can follow to ensure a fun filled exercise session on a cold winter day.
Step 1: Motivation
I don’t know about you, but the simplest way for me to motivate my kids is just getting my Pilates mat out and start stretching. Before I know it, my kids are asking me if they can stretch with me and even inventing their own exercises.
Step 2: Keep it Fun
Many times parents tell their kids to do push-ups or run laps to get them moving and even worse, punishment for bad behavior. But if they do not enjoy these activities, children may dread exercising. Keeping exercise fun, will help children get excited about it and lead to establishing lifelong healthy habits.
Step 3: Keep Warm
Many moms are hesitant to take their kids outside for fear they may catch a cold, but that is not completely true. Prevent sickness by dressing your children warmly and recognize the signs of frostbite. Kids (and mom’s too), should be bundled up in “gloves, coats and warm socks, along with weather-appropriate footwear”(sheknows.com).
There are many ways to get your kids moving both indoors and outdoors. When playing outdoors, make it fun by setting up relay races complete with prizes. Flashlight tag is a fun game to play in the evenings if the weather is not too unbearable(sheknows.com). Finally, take the kids on a nature walk and spend time talking about how animals survive in the cold.
When it’s just too cold to be outdoors, consider hosting a mommy and me Pilates or Yoga session at your house, have a dance contest with your kids (they will love watching you be silly), and lastly create an indoor bootcamp complete with an awards ceremony and a healthy snack afterwards.
These are just a few ideas to get you started, but just remember: Get Motivated, Have Fun, and Keep warm!