‘Tis the season to be grateful. The holidays bring a sense of immense gratitude and appreciation for the love of family and friends. Sharing the joy of the season and making memories with loved ones is the best gift of all.
For kids, the holiday season means more time at home with family and more opportunities for memorable moments. Make the most of this cherished time and carve out ways to bond with children by including them in daily activities that strengthen both their bodies and your family. Exercising with kids during the winter break keeps them (and you!) active, engaged and healthy.
For growing kids, exercise is especially important. Children should clock at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day (adults need about 30 minutes). Fun outdoor (and indoor) sports and activities help improve coordination, motor skills, strength and endurance. Playing outdoors also helps kids burn off the crazy indoor holiday energy, which is always a plus for parents!
Spend time with kids being active, having fun and promoting good health. Try upbeat, unique and enjoyable activities, exercises and games to pluck bored bodies off the couch and into motion. Here are some great ways to get moving and build bonds with your kids this winter:
All ages can engage in yoga as a form of exercise…and relaxation. Learn basic poses with your kids, or, if you’re a trained yogi, use your knowledge from yoga practice to teach them a few of the basics. Keep in mind that kids just want to have fun and be with their parents or loved ones. Stay true to the relaxed nature of yoga, but don’t be afraid to be silly. Kids will enjoy the fun animal and nature-inspired names for the postures. The art of the breath is, of course, vital to yoga. And the breath aids in relaxation, which is an asset for parents whose kids might be overly hyped up on gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa.
Hooping is a blast and incredibly popular for kids and adults. Indoors or outdoors, the hoop can be taken just about anywhere. The only real requirement for hooping fun is space…and lots of it. If the family doesn’t have a basement—or if the basement tends to feel like polar tundra—move the furniture around and create an open space in a hearth room. Turn on music and compete for the longest hooping time. If you’re feeling super festive, buy solid red or green hoops and wrap white tape around the hoop to create a candy cane design…then hoop to upbeat carols!
Take 10,000 Steps Together
Walking 10,000 steps might seem like a chore when accomplished solo, but with friends and family the walks feel much less monotonous. Take time together to take a walk around the neighborhood. Look at the light displays, talk about worries and hopes, or maybe brainstorm the next New Year’s resolution. Have a conversation with kids that focuses on them. Get deep into friends or crushes…or talk about their favorite things. Have a conversation that shows them you’re listening. And then add some extra marshmallows to the hot chocolate as a fun reward for taking all those steps!
Ice-skating is a feat that everyone should try at least once. Those blades are tricky, but nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like a smooth sheet of ice and a pair of ice-skates. If you have mastered the blade, you’re ahead of many. Regardless of whether or not you (or your kiddos) can spin, salchow or jump in skates, the festive fun of the ice, the people, the merriment and the cold combine for everlasting memories…and a killer workout (and possibly a sore bottom)!
Most parents don’t jump enough…it seems that the urge is unfortunately repressed after childhood. Jumping gets the heart pumping, and jumping feels absolutely joyful! Propelling airborne in mid-jump gives the body a sense of flight and you can’t resist cracking a smile. If the family has a trampoline (and the weather is cooperating), jump on board with the kids. Laugh. Have fun. Let loose. No trampoline? No worries! Most cities have a recreation complex that offers trampolines for hours of jumping enjoyment.
This winter break, ditch the movie marathons, the binge watching on Netflix and the iDevices and enjoy time with the kids that gets everyone’s heart pumping. Make memories, laugh and enjoy the moments together during the festive, love-filled and joyful season. Namaste.
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