My son came down with croup a few weeks back, and I was surprised to hear the pediatrician ask what outdoor activities we had planned for the remainder of the day*. I was prepared to keep him bundled up in his bed and away from all other family members. I still kept him away from other family members, but we had fun in the cold, crisp air that day.
Since we live in a cold and snowy climate, I started thinking about another element of a healthy lifestyle – exercise (Yes, that dreaded word). Now that we have finally made a turn around the bend on healthy eating, I’ve been encouraging our children to spread their wings and fly – almost literally! Getting them off the couch and outdoors hasn’t been much of a feat this past summer (well, once I put the child lock on the cable box so they have to ask me to turn it on). I’m curious as to how they’ll respond this winter when I tell them to put on the snow boots and have at it. They definitely like their warmth.
I have managed to scare up a sparse bucket list for this winter:
- Extend the Annual Family Turkey Bowl – many people have this football tradition, but I’ve decided to pick one Saturday a month and have a themed “bowl game” of some sort. For the months of Dec, Jan, Feb, and Mar, I am calling them, respectively, the Dine-N-Dash (to be scheduled after a large holiday meal), the New Year’s Sprint (aka running in snowshoes), Catch Someone You Love (a crazy family game of tag), Rush for the Pot of Gold (a mini-triathlon in the front yard).
- Learn a new winter sport – Santa is delivering snow shoes. I’ve found these awesome monster shoes for the kids to add a bit of fun to the activity.
- Explore our favorite outdoor summer spots to discover what they offer for winter. We like a certain canyon to go on picnics, and this winter we want to find out what other things there are to offer. Maybe we can find a great hill for sledding or we might take our 2 mile hike and see the waterfall frozen!
- Cut down our Christmas tree. This requires hiking/walking, labor in hacking down the tree, and carrying the tree back to the car. All in all, a great day of exercise for the whole family!
- Do the Shuffle. We have bought a dancing video game. This way we can get some indoor exercise too on days that the rain or snow is heavy.
I always try to keep the entire day healthy by giving them a great treat at the end of our adventure. There’s nothing like tasty muffins and a great cup of hot chocolate to warm you up after being outside all day.
Our list might be short right now, but I’m on the lookout for other adventures we can have too. There’s bound to be outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks or local sledding hills to explore. I’ve heard there are organized hikes in our area, and other fun, filled exercise for everyone. (My kids are trying to get a punch pass to the local bounce house place.)
*This is not intended to be personal medical advice. Please consult your own doctor for medical advice. Each person and medical case should be evaluated individually.