NYC Personal Trainer’s Top 5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Keep Kids Active in Winter

Wintertime and holiday breaks!

Snow and the bite of morning air. Chimneys with fires and hot oatmeal for breakfast. School holidays and kids who park it in front of the TV for A Christmas Story marathons and binge play Mine Craft while you’re at work.

Oh my.

Getting kids motivated to move during winter break can be a challenge. But by staying active during winter  isn’t just to keep you sane, but it’s also an important way to keep kids healthy, energized, allows them sleep better, and is a positive way to keep the family happier (both mentally and physiologically). Remember, activity boosts much-needed endorphins and serotonin levels.

So, get creative to keep kids moving during winter. Here are 6 easy, inexpensive tips to make movement part of the holidays and all winter long:

  • Bundle Up: Get your kids appropriate winter wear because being cold is unsafe and a surefire way to keep them inside. There are great second-hand shops that have scarves, jackets, mittens, and even thermal underwear.
  • Unplug: This is the key to keeping kids creative. Take away tablets, the TV and I-Phones for a digital detox. Take out the board games and books. According to an NCBI study “sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.” But when kids are mentally active, while playing board games and reading, their metabolisms don’t hit that low.
  • American Ninja Warrior Indoors: What better time to capitalize on our kids’ American Ninja Warrior dreams than now? Building forts with blankets and furniture, and creating indoor obstacle courses are a great way to keep kids engaged and moving. Try indoor bowling with empty plastic water bottles and taped-up newspaper. Set up a mini putting course with plastic cups, ping-pong balls, and a long stick.
  • Scavenger Hunts and Geocaching: Depending on your children’s ages, you can send them on scavenger hunts or give them a checklist of things to do around the neighborhood. Get creative: build a snowman, make ten snowballs for a fight, shovel the front walk (that’s crazy hard and great for exercise), collect ten pinecones etc. Even get them involved in Geocaching.
  • Get in the Movement Mindset with the Spirit of the Season: Go caroling. Have your kids do a neighborhood toy and book collection for a local charity. Have kids do a canned foods collection for the local pantry. There are so many ways to keep kids active and give back to the community in the meantime. What a great way to celebrate the true meaning of the season.
  • Get Bookish (or Museum-ish): Be a tourist in your own town. Go to the library and sign up for classes or workshops offered during December. Even better if it’s nearby and you can walk there. Take some days to re-discover your local museums. Museum-walking is a phenomenal way to keep moving.

Winter is inevitable. Winter break is inevitable. Sitting in front of a screen, though, isn’t. Being creative to keep kids active and exercising during the long winter months is important for their health, both mental and physical, and yours!