9 Ways to Keep Active with Your Family This Winter

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Between the winter blues and the snowy weather, it might be a struggle to keep active in the winter. There’s nothing better than cuddling up with some hot cocoa when it’s snowing outside, but you can’t give up on your workout plan or your family’s physical fitness altogether. Here’s how you can still keep active this winter.

1. Winter Running

Don’t let the snow and the cold stop you from running. You definitely need to be a bit more cautious when you’re running in wintry conditions, but it can be done. Make sure you’re layering your clothes and wearing wool or moisture-wicking socks, because your feet will definitely get wet. Waterproof or water-resistant shoes are recommended as well.
If you don’t feel like going for a full-on run, it’s always good to get out and run around in the snow with your family. No serious running required, just snowball fights and having fun. It still gets you active, and if you’re chasing around little ones, you’ll definitely be getting a workout.

2. Hiking

Few things are more beautiful than mountain views in the wintertime. Strap on some waterproof hiking boots, be super careful of where you’re stepping, and adventure out. The scenery will totally be worth facing the cold. 

3. Shoveling Snow

If you do it the right way, shoveling snow can be a straight-up workout. While you definitely have to be careful not to strain anything and to use proper technique, if you’re doing things right it can get your heart pumping.
For example, try shovel squats or lunges. Instead of just sticking to the usual shovel pattern, add in that extra step to amp things up. Shoveling is a workout on its own, but if you add in the extra things, you can make it a lot better and really work your muscles. Instead of treating shoveling as a chore, treat it as your workout for the day.

4. Ice Skating

In addition to being super fun, ice-skating is pretty good exercise. It does great things for your joints and balance, and if you’re at it for a long time it really improves your endurance. It takes a lot of energy to keep skating for hours on end.

Only 25 percent of a preschooler’s day is devoted to play nowadays, down from 40 percent. It’s been proven play is critical in helping children explore and learn new skills. If they aren’t getting it in school, then they have to get it outside of school. Taking your kids ice-skating is a great way to have a play day and exercise at the same time. 

5. Sledding

Another great way to have fun with your kids is sledding. You’re never too old to go. While you might not get a workout on the way down, you certainly get one on the walk back up the hill. Plus, if you’re helping to drag your kids up the hill as well, which gets you an extra boost.

6. Skiing or Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding are good ways to work your leg and abdominal muscles. They also help with balance and flexibility when you’re maneuvering down the slopes. Lugging around your equipment doesn’t hurt either.

The adrenaline and rush that you get when you’re out on the slopes is great for your mental health, too. With seasonal depression being a big problem and mood changes in general happening during the winter months, this is a good way to combat it. Getting some sunlight helps your mood, and so does being out there with friends.

7. Tubing

If you have little ones who can’t ski or snowboard yet, try tubing. It’s another great way to get outside and get active — just a little bit more doable for the little ones. While it isn’t as much of a workout as the other activities, pulling your kiddos around on a tube gets your heart rate up and makes things fun.

8. Cross-Country Skiing

Another activity that works if you have little ones who can’t hit the slopes is cross-country skiing. It can take a bit to get the hang of, but it can be a fun thing to learn together. This sport is a full-body workout, too, and burns a ton of calories. It might be the perfect balance of family-friendly and intense.

9. Indoor Workouts

If you really don’t feel like braving the cold outdoors, there are a bunch of workouts you can do inside. They can be as simple as running up and down the stairs in your house or apartment or joining a gym and taking classes. 

There are some great workout apps, too, if you want to keep your workout at home. Buying a home gym or a treadmill could be a smart idea if fitness is something you’re going to stay dedicated to and you’re going to get enough use out of it.

Don’t let winter disrupt your fitness routines. Find an activity that works for you. Get out there and get active!

 

 

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Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys drinking tea, dark chocolate, and rainy day snuggles with her daughter. She enjoys sunny days, too, but finds they are less conducive for snuggles. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

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