Winter weather poses an obstacle to normally
active children when it's no longer easy to jump on a bike and ride or
play outside. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers advice on
how to keep your kids active during the colder months.
"The trend toward inactivity in children is
all too common during the winter months," says Debi Pilarella,
2004 ACE Fitness Director of the Year. "Kids are continuing to
eat higher calorie foods and not working them off like they would in
warmer weather. It's the parent's responsibility to make sure their
child/children remain active when playing outside isn't an
Take your kids with you for a gym
workout - YMCAs and health clubs offer a warmer
fitness alternative to outside and now have expanded programs for kids
and parents (e.g., parent/child yoga and Pilates, youth circuit
classes and family personal training).
Head to the mall for a
walk - Many malls are open early for
morning walkers and are a great way to get physical activity with the
kids. Parents can split up with their children into teams and each can
compete to reach a certain store in the shortest amount of time.
Commercial time is
"movement time" - Pilarella has
established "movement time" during commercials when her
children have to get up and move around the house, either to take the
dog outside or put away laundry. Parents can also offer rewards for
children who do their activities.
ACE recommends children
get approximately 60 minutes of physical activity each day,
but that can be broken up into intervals anywhere from 10-20
minutes. Youth-fitness products keep kids busy indoors - There are a
variety of youth-oriented fitness products parents can buy including
at-home yoga kits and child exercise videos and games. These would
make great holiday or birthday gifts.
This is a list of free police and safety coloring
and activity pages to keep them busy and learning for hours! Free
Police and Safety Coloring and Activity Pages