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How to keep cold weather from freezing your family’s activity level

This week, the “polar vortex” has slammed a large part of the U.S. with extremely cold temperatures that have caused cities to declare snow emergencies and shut down schools for days. Meanwhile, childhood obesity remains the leading child health concern among adults across the country. But with wind chill temperatures reaching into the -30s, getting outside for daily physical activity isn’t a great option.

Here are a few fun indoor activities to get the family up and moving during cold weather months:

  • Make room for play: Move furniture out of a room or push it to the side close to the walls to open up some floor space for play. Once you have a safe, open play space, play some fun family games together. Blow up a balloon or beach ball and use it to play indoor volleyball. Set up a mini “obstacle course” with pillows and blankets and time each other to see who can get through the fastest. Play indoor tag. Or best of all, have your kids make up a game they want to play inside.
  • Family dance party: Take a break from the TV and turn on some of your favorite upbeat tunes. Then get up and start having some fun! Be goofy and get into it and your kids will be more likely to follow suit. Depending on how much time and cabin fever you have, you could even decorate a room in your house to set the stage for a dance party. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but it you’re up and moving and having fun, both you and your kids will benefit.
  • Winter cleaning: Who says cleaning is only for the spring? If you’re creative, you can make a game out of household chores and get the whole family to participate. Set up a trash can, recycling bin, or donation container as “basketball hoops” and de-clutter a room. Make a contest out of who can fold the most laundry. Not only will you knock some items off your to-do list, but your whole family can get some of their needed daily physical activity.

Daily physical activity is important for everyone, and in the winter months it can be challenging. But if you’re creative and you have fun with it, there are plenty of ways to be active indoors. Getting up and getting moving is the first step.

What ways have you kept your family moving during cold weather? Share your ideas in the comments!