Lynn Beattie, WIC Nutritionist
Physical activity: Families know they need it, but they know even more about the difficulties of fitting it into the day. The start of the school year can get hectic. Or the weather is too hot, too cold, too snowy, too wet. Fortunately, a good family workout can take place right in your own home—no traveling, backyard, or large spaces required! Start by choosing one or two of the activities listed below to try this week—soon your children will be well on their way to getting the recommended one hour of exercise each day.
- Commercial Challenge: Do as many push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, or squats as possible during TV commercial breaks. Switch to a different activity with every commercial for an extra sweat!
- Twist-and-Stretch: Lay a bath towel on the floor for each participating player. Everyone stands in the center of his or her towel while players take turns calling out different body parts that need to touch the towel at the same time. Try “back” and “kneecap” for a deep stretch!
Low Intensity Exercises
- Many great exercises can be done right from your chair: arm raises (try it while holding cans of soup for muscle-building weight), leg raises, toe-touches, and head rolls are wonderful ways to stretch and strengthen, no matter your age or level of agility!
- Charades: Silently act out animals, sports stars, or other favorite categories that will keep the game moving and the family guessing!
More Physical Activity Fun
- Indoor Sports: Try playing indoor soccer or volleyball using a balled-up sock or balloon. Use baskets or wall space as goals, or see if you can keep the game going for an entire episode of your favorite TV show! Remember to remove any fragile objects before beginning.
- Treasure Hunt: Construct a treasure hunt for kids with hidden, homemade clues written on note cards. Each note card should have an active direction explaining how to find the next clue, e.g., “hop to the kitchen pantry” or “slither to the couch.” End with a final “treasure” like a jump rope, sports ball, doll, or anything else that will encourage active play.
With these great ideas for indoor play, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! What activities do you plan to do with your family this winter? Please share!