Exercise In The Snow!
Don't let snow and cold weather keep you and your family indoors. Bundle up and head outdoors with the kids for a fun-filled workout.
Build a snow family
Making a snowman is hard work! You start with a snowball, of course, and before long you're on your knees... rolling, rolling and rolling. As your frosty friend grows, your arms get toned, your heart gets healthy and your kids get happy!
You can look at shoveling snow as a necessary evil or as a great workout opportunity. Just one hour of shoveling can burn 400 or more calories! The kids will appreciate the snow you push to the side — perfect for fort building!
To protect your back, use an ergonomic shovel that lets you push, rather than lift, the snow. Try the Suncast Double Grip Ergonomic Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo (Amazon, $36).
Go sledding with your kids
Remember sledding as a child? There was the fabulous thrill of soaring downhill, followed by the punishing trek back up the hill.
Now that you're a grown-up, you can look at it differently. For every challenging mini workout — walking up that steep hill — you're rewarded with an invigorating ride back down!
Strap on cross-country skis
"This year I plan on cross-country skiing with my baby in a backpack," says professional athlete and new mom Bec Wassner, who writes the Athlete Moms blog with her sisters. "My husband is Canadian, so winter activities are a must!"
If you live in an area that's conducive to the activity, consider investing in some equipment that you can use year after year. Otherwise, head to a nearby golf course or ski resort, rent some skis and get moving!
Ice skate without skates
Create your own ice skating rink! Just flood a portion of your backyard, let it freeze and have a blast! You don't need ice skates — your winter boots will do! (Just make sure the kids are careful!)
Make a pie
Few of us can resist a fresh, new coat of snow with nary a footprint. Help your children create something fun in the undisturbed snow using nothing more than their cozy boots!
Line up, single file, and walk in a giant circle. This is your pie. Then cut your pie in half, then in fourths and so on. Little ones love this activity: Your footprints make it easy for them to follow, and they learn a bit of math, too!
Go for a run
Outside? In the snow? Sure! "Running in freshly fallen snow is awesome — it's like running on pillows," says Wassner. "And trudging up steep hills is a quick leg-burning workout."
Go alone or bring along the kids. This snowy workout will leave you feeling refreshed.
Clean off the cars
It has to be done anyway, so make it a fun family competition. Assign one portion of the vehicle to each child — Mom gets the high parts, like the roof — and get started! The first to remove all of the snow and ice from their section wins!
If you have more than one vehicle, assign one kid to each car. They'll enjoy the competition so much that they'll offer to do the neighbor's vehicles, too!
Walk with baby in tow
"I plan to snowshoe with my baby in a backpack," says Wassner. "The added weight is a good strength workout and when I go solo, I feel like I'm flying!"
Once your little one becomes too heavy to strap onto your back, put her in a cozy sled and pull her along!
Don't forget the dog
Rather than watch the dog from the kitchen window, get dressed and head out there with him. Most dogs love romping in the snow, so join in the fun! Play ball, wrestle with him or just enjoy a nature walk together. You'll both get the vitamin D you need!
More fun in the snow