Today, October 5, is National Child Health Day, a day devoted to improving childhood health by preventing medical problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American's lifestyle is obesogenic. They define obesogenic as characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, unhealthy foods, and physical inactivity.
Obesity is rampant in my family. Whether the blame lies in our genes, our habits, or a combination of both, it's a problem. Mitigating the hazard on Grace's behalf is a conscious daily battle.
When the weather is warm, we are active. We swim; we hike; we visit parks and playgrounds. Because those activities are all outside, we're struggling with cold weather alternatives.
Cheryl Jones, creator of Sports Clubs for Kids shared the following tips to help us come up with interesting alternatives.
10 Cold Weather Fitness Tips for the Whole Family
- Don't be afraid of the cold: Bundle up and encourage outside play times. If there is snow on the ground, go sledding or tubing, have a snowball fight, build a snow man, make snow angels or just go for a fun hike. In the interest of honesty, this is easier said than done for me. I hate being outside in the cold!
- Enroll your child in an instructional class: swimming, dance, gymnastics or indoor sports classes. These are often available through your school district or neighborhood Rec Association at a relatively low cost.
- Find indoor activities at your local skating rink, bowling alley, laser tag center or rock climbing gym. How about the mall? One of our local malls has an indoor playground, and it's free to use.
- Discover a local community center or health club with indoor basketball courts, pools and/or tennis courts. Shoot hoops, swim or volley tennis balls across the net.
- Rent or purchase a children's fitness video. Instead of watching cartoons and playing video games, push the couch and tables out of the way and workout together. Wii, anyone?
- Turn up the volume! Grab your children's favorite music and just dance. Have your kids re-enact their own music video, video tape them and play it back for hours of fun!
- Check out kids fitness classes or mommy and me group exercise classes at your local health club or gym.
- Create an obstacle course in your house. Set up stations in your family room or throughout your house. Tunnels, hula hoops, jump ropes, steps and physio balls are great props for an exciting playtime.
- Summer is not the only time for camp! Look for school's out holiday camps and mini clinics at your local health club or community center. Kids can enroll in half day or full day activities.
- Don't forget Twister. This game is an all time favorite for kids and adults! And other classic games like Duck Duck Goose and Freeze Tag can be played at any time.