The winter months can present challenges when it comes to sticking to your exercise routine as well as keeping your kids active…

 

The new year may be here, but winter still has a few more weeks before it melts into spring. For most of us, winter calls to mind warm, cozy sweaters, nights cuddled up by the fire, and lots and lots of hot beverages. You know what tends to slip our minds during winter? Exercise and healthy eating. This can be tough for those of us trying to live a healthy lifestyle, particularly when we have children looking up to us.

In some ways, I understand our wintertime, couch potato tendencies. Who wants to spend time trying to convince themselves and their children to get some physical activity – especially when it’s cold outside! What’s more, our cupboards are usually crammed with holiday goodies co-workers gave us as gifts during the previous holiday season, tempting anyone who dares to trek through the kitchen. Who among us has the willpower to resist a tasty cookie and get a healthy snack instead? (Not me!)

Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks that not only get my son moving during the winter months, but actually help me keep fit too! They’ve become some of our favorite winter activities. Why not give a few a try to kick start 2017?

Walk in a Winter Wonderland

 

It’s a simple fact: every kid likes to play in the snow. So when you wake up to some clean, fresh powder, why not take advantage of it? Bundle up and take a walk so you both can enjoy the scenery. Make a snowman or have a snowball fight! Whatever you decide to do with your time in the snow, it will certainly be better than time spent in front of the TV.

Even if you live in a snow-free climate, you can still take advantage of the winter weather. Parks and hiking trails will be less populated in the winter, which means your family can have the place practically to yourselves! As long as you are dressed for the weather, there is no reason that you and your little ones shouldn’t enjoy some time in the wintry outdoors.

 

Marathon Your Meal PrepIf you’re living a healthy, vegan lifestyle, you probably already know the importance of meal prepping. Taking time to prepare healthy, plant-based meals and snacks can be a lifesaver during those busy workdays, when it seems like all you do is grab something as you head out the door again. But have you ever stopped to consider that meal prep could be a workout?

Get the whole family involved in your cooking! Chopping veggies (if you’re old enough to handle a knife, of course), running around the kitchen finding ingredients, and mixing things together can actually get your heart rate up and your muscles working – and if you don’t believe me, as anyone who’s ever baked something without an electric mixer!

At my house, we make meal prep an athletic event. We invent little competitions, like who can clean the counter the fastest (my favorite way to get my son to tidy up for me) and we make sure that everyone plays a part in getting ready for the week. It may not be as strenuous as running a marathon, but it’s leaps and bounds better than lying around all afternoon.

Reclaim Your Favorite Outdoor Games

 

Your parents may have told you not to play ball in the house, but you’re the parent now! Go ahead and try repurposing your favorite outdoor activities for a housebound group. Have wheelbarrow races around the living room. Compete to see who can hula hoop the longest. Practice your handstands or hacky sack skills. Find your favorite tunes and turn up the volume, gather the family, and take turns showing off your best moves.

Really, the key is that everyone is getting their blood flowing and their endorphins flowing. Not only will you find yourself getting some exercise, you will make amazing memories you’ll cherish for years. Fun-filled exercise like this can really help you shake off those winter blues and help create healthy habits you’ll keep all year!

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Cassie Brewer

Cassie Brewer is a freelance writer living in sunny Southern California. She writes about diet and wellness in order to help others not only be beautiful on the outside, but radiant on the inside.
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