Keep Kids Active During Snow Days - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on January 21, 2016

Keep Kids Active During Snow Days

Keep Kids Active During Snow Days

With the right outdoor activity in the snow
your kids won’t even realize it’s an workout.

If you’ve ever seen your child’s reaction to finding out school is closed for inclement weather, you know what pure joy looks like. When kids stay home from school for a snow day, they could happily spend the entire day sitting in front of the TV or other devices. But all of that time sitting and not having gym class is just not good for them.

A sedentary lifestyle can lead children to become overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is particularly problematic because it can increase their risk of serious chronic conditions that historically have only been an issue for adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep disorders and more.

Childhood obesity can also cause emotional complications, such as depression, low self-esteem, as well as behavior and learning issues. Children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each day to not only prevent obesity, but also to improve their overall health.

Here’s how you can keep your kids active when they’re home from school for a snow day.

When You’re Inside…

There are tons of fun games out there to get your kids moving. Kids love games like Twister, charades, freeze dance and hide and seek. They’re moving around, having fun and the whole family can play.

If you have an interactive video game console, turn it on! Play the games that get kids up, moving, swinging their arms, playing sports and dancing. They’re competitive, fun and are actually great aerobic workouts.

It is probably not as much fun for them, but consider putting together a chore list for your kids. When they’re home all day, it’s likely a mess will accumulate. Giving them chores to do around the house will get them moving. Make it fun by turning it into a game – race against the clock to see who can get their chores done the fastest.

When You’re Outside…

Encourage your kids to bundle up and head outside to enjoy the snow. If you’re outside shoveling, get them to help you. Once the work is done, build a snowman, have a snow ball fight and make snow angels. While these are definitely fun snowy day activities, they’re actually also pretty good workouts. Making snow angels can burn more than 200 calories per hour, a snowball fight can burn more than 300 calories per hour and building a snowman also can burn close to 300 calories per hour.

And, of course, go sledding! Pick a hill within walking distance for the whole family to sled on. All of the walking up and down the hill is so much fun you and your kids won’t even realize it’s an aerobic workout.

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