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Entries in Exercise (1)


Baby It's Cold Outside....Tips on Keeping Kids Active During the Winter

Have you heard of the principle of One-to-One - for every hour of sedentary leisure activity you choose to do, you need to do an hour of aerobic activity. This can be a challenge even when the weather cooperates, but in the winter, when temperatures take a nose dive, it can be quite daunting to find ways to keep our kiddos moving.

The recommended activity is at least 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day -- preferably in minimal intervals of twenty minutes.  At minimum, achieve a goal of 3 days per week. The following list of activities is a collection of ideas to get you up and moving....


These places include your local YMCA, an indoor swimming pool, an ice skating rink (at the Lawerence Joel Colliseum Anex), a bowling alley, or the nearest shopping mall. Hanes mall has a great "toddler play area" on the lower level beside SEARS for letting off some steam indoors.  And there's always the playareas at Chick-Fil-A. Activities like basketball, soccer, ice-skating, swimming, rock climbing, walking/climbing stairs, and even exercise machines for older, moore coordinated kids (like a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical devices) are great aerobic challenges. Create simple, short contests with potential rewards to motivate and encourage each other.

• Other community indoor facilities include the Winston-Salem Children's Museum or Greensboro Children's Museum, The Natural Science Center in Greensboro or Sci Works here in Winston-Salem.  These have admission costs, but yearly memberships are quite reasonable.  Your kids (and you parents too) can expand your mind as well as keep your body moving.

• Consider instructional classes like dance, martial arts, yoga, zumba, and gymnastics. These incorporate aerobic activity with core muscle strength and balance exercises.  Check out a great list compiled by Triad Moms on Main and another handy site, The Activity Tree, for a nice listing of various classes available in our area (just enter the zip code and choose from their drop down menu of activities).


Bundle up and get outdoors!  Breathe some fresh air while walking park trails, sledding (if we get snow), skating, walking around the neighborhood or school track, or volunteering to walk dogs for your home or other households (great way to earn some extra spending money for older elementary school kids). If weather conditions permit, consider riding a mountain bike. Remember to always wear a helment - safety first!


Be creative and keep it fun. Get moving during commercials! Dance, do jumping jacks, squats, sit ups, push ups, run in place, have a short pillow fight, play musical chairs/sofas until the program starts again.  Again make it a fun contest with a reward. Here's some ideas for indoor ACTIVE games:

- Simon Says

- Red Light, Green Light

- Hopscotch

- Twister

- Hide and Go Seek

Other ideas to get your kids up off the couch....

- Have them help you clean the house (yes, really)! Make it fun by playing music and dancing while getting the chores done together.  Or make it a race or a contest between kids (or parents vs kids) to see who can pick up toys fastest etc.

- "Exergaming" Video games (such as Dance, Dance Revolution and a wide variety games for WiiFit) that require physical movement have been a huge hit with kids in recent years. A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that these games can elevate the energy expenditure to moderate or vigorous intensity (in some cases, requiring even more energy than walking on a treadmill!) This can be an alternative to traditional aerobic fitness activities. But beware, some kids learn how to "cheat" and just move their wrists and hands instead of doing the full body movements as intended. 

- "Bring the outdoors inside" - think hula hoops, jump ropes, an indoor basketball goal, even some ride on toys if you have a long hall or large playroom or basement

- Create an indoor obstacle course with pillows, blankets, toys, etc.

- Have an indoor scavengar hunt

Thankfully, our winters in NC are not as long or as gloomy as up north and spring will be here in a few months.