As a personal trainer and a mother of two, I know the importance of a healthy lifestyle and I also know how hard it is to keep your body moving in the winter! Most days it is so much more appealing to turn the fireplace on, grab a big blanket and curl up on the couch with your family to watch TV than to take 15 minutes to dress your kids in snowsuits and then drag them out in the snow and cold.
Don’t get me wrong, it would be great to cuddle up by the fire some days, but it would be more rewarding after draining some of the kids’ energy on outside activities. These activities will keep your metabolism up during the winter months, release endorphins into your body (which helps fight seasonal depression), promote some intake of Vitamin D on sunny days, and keep healthy and happy kids!
Some great winter activities to try are:
- Ice skating: This builds cardio endurance and leg strength. If you have babies, pull them in a sled or push them in a stroller for more of a workout and better balance. Hit up the canal during Winterlude (the kids will love it) or head to your local man-made rink.
- Sliding with your kids: Get a big sled that you can have fun on and have some laughs with your kids. Walking up and around the toboggan hill will give you a total body workout and cardio too.
- Snowshoeing: If you haven’t tried it yet, do it! Besides the amazing workout for your legs and core, you can explore different trails and fields without sinking knee deep. They make ultra lightweight frames now, which are great for all ages. Again, if you have infants or younger kids, you can pull them on a flat-bottom sled or in a backpack carrier.
- Skiing: Both downhill and cross country will give you a great total-body workout, including cardio and core.
Remember to dress very warmly because you can always take a layer off. Start off slowly if you are new to an activity and don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your kids this winter.
Nina Potvin www.ottawavalleymoms.com