You did it! You got the kids outside, and you really started to get them up and moving for fitness and exercise. However, now the weather is becoming too chilly to enjoy an afternoon romp at the playground or trip around the block without piling on a coat, mittens and scarf.
The Scriptures about the benefits of exercise have really taken hold, but getting up off the couch to get moving when it’s cold outside is going to take more than a hot mug of cocoa and a log in the fire.
But, I beat my body and bring it into submission. —1 Corinthians 9:27
Yes, it takes discipline and dedication to keep up with the fitness routine in the dead of winter. However, it doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Get the whole family involved, and make it a game. The kids may never even figure out that they are actually exercising their bodies for fitness.
Here are some fun ways for the family to exercise at home when it’s too cold outdoors:
Stay home, kick off your shoes, and make sure everyone is in their stocking feet. Find a smooth surface in your home and go skating across the floor in your socks.
Active Video Gaming
Don’t cringe just yet at the mention of video games. Some gaming companies have made devices that allow you to get active during gaming. These games aren’t limited to sports or exercise. This means, you don’t even have to remind your child that he or she is exercising. Just slip in the game and get moving.
Tickle or Pillow Fights
Sometimes, a friendly pillow or tickle fight is all you need to get moving. Set some boundaries so it doesn’t get out of control, and enjoy the giggles.
Get a strip of bubble wrap, possibly from leftover Christmas wrapping, and have fun jumping on the bubbles to pop them.
Make it a game to see who comes up with the silliest walk around the living room. Turn it into a game of charades, and have family members guess what animal, person or object you are imitating.
Enjoy a nearby indoor playground. Some local restaurants offer these year-round climbing gyms. If you don’t want to be tempted by the smell of foods, try a place designated to bouncy houses, trampolines or gymnastics.
Bowling alleys are a great way to find an opportunity to exercise together as a family, year-round. If you want to avoid the lane fees and shoe rentals, design your own indoor bowling game at home with empty soda bottles and a ball.
Play a round of hockey, sled or ski down a neighborhood hill if the weather cooperates with snow. Otherwise, strap on a pair of skates and slip your hands into a warm pair of mittens, and take the kids ice skating.
Climb the Steps
Pretend you are scaling a mountain. Use caution, and take turns walking up and down the steps several times each.
Use unopened, sealed cans as your weights. Have a weight-lifting session, and then reward yourselves by eating the healthy choices of low-sodium soups, vegetables or fruit options that are inside the cans.
Exercise Workout Video
Look for a workout video that you and your kids will enjoy. Put on your favorite exercise workout video, DVD or YouTube video. Set aside a special day each week when you can work out together, as a family.
Dancing is a form of exercise that works the core and many of the major muscle groups of the body. Don’t worry if you lack coordination. Just put on your favorite upbeat praise and worship music or fun kids tunes and start to move.