Keeping Kids Active with Mindful Movement

Winter is nearly here and the long hours of daylight have dwindled away (for now!) What’s a parent to do with kids who need a minimum of an hour of daily activity? In two words: be deliberate.

Utilize that sports equipment. It’s easily forgotten when the TV is on, but there’s no need to look any further than your own back yard. This one might require adult participation at first (everything is so much more fun when Mom or Dad is doing it.) Start bouncing that basketball outside and see how long it takes for the younger set to join you. Most kids enjoy an audience to show off their skills, so get your kids on the trampoline and ask them to perform for you. Play “Olympics” and rate their jumps (generously, of course!)

Play family Charades. Cheesy? Yes. Fun? Absolutely! And although it’s not exactly aerobic activity, it is movement. Look online for topic ideas or create your own.

Consider getting a Wii Fit Plus or Wii Sports Resort for Christmas. The combination of children and electronic devices may be unavoidable but at the very least we can push kids toward movement. A dance session on these games can provide an an exercise comparable to walking at a moderate-intense pace.

The bottom line: don’t fall into a rut of letting kids veg out, even though it’s tempting. With a few efforts here and there, everyone can stay active (enough) during the long winter months.