New Braunfels ISD wants to be sure that all of our students remain active during the winter months as it is vital for their health, despite weather conditions.

While days are shorter and colder during the winter, children still need to keep moving and having fun. Sometimes it may take a little creativity and planning, but there are many ways to help your family stay active no matter what it looks like outside, according to NBISD Health Services.

Children’s Health, an organization that has been working to make life better for children for more than 100 years, encourages families to get at least one hour of physical activity every day.

“Exercise is essential, no matter the season. It helps kids maintain strong muscles and bones, builds cardiovascular strength, reduces the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes and improves mental health,” according to the organization. “It’s important to keep a positive mindset about staying active, especially during the gray, colder days of winter.”

Blocking off a full hour for exercise can be difficult due to busy schedules. However, Children’s Health suggests aiming for several 15-20 minute bursts of movement throughout the day. These activities should be fun as kids enjoy exercise more when it is part of a game or other activity.

While exercise is important, it does not mean physical training like push-ups, pull-ups or crunches. Incorporating movement into games like hide-and-seek or indoor tag and relay races provides children with physical actions like squatting, jumping and moving around things allowing them to get bodyweight exercise through play.

Creative games and activities inside help children avoid excessive couch-bound screen time. Kids can pretty much participate in any activities they do in the summer, they just will need to bundle up.

Some indoor winter activities for children are:
• Make commercial time, exercise time. Have kids get up and do jumping jacks or duck walks around the living room during commercial breaks of their favorite shows. No commercials? Just set a timer for a break in the middle of the episode.
• Play video games that incorporate movement. Host a family game night of Just Dance or Wii bowling – or similar games that get participants up and moving.
• Incorporate small dance parties throughout the day. Put on a favorite song and have kids dance around the room. Or have them dance along to a video on sites like Go Noodle.
• Do a clean-up sprint. Encourage kids to dust, vacuum or declutter as many rooms as they can in five or 10 minutes.
• Build an indoor obstacle course. Use household or garage items to encourage kids to crawl, jump and wiggle their way to fun.
• Hold a scavenger hunt. Get kids moving throughout the house on a race to find items on individualized search lists.

Outdoor activities for children include:
• Take family bike rides or walks. As long as you dress for the weather, there’s no reason your family can’t enjoy the outdoors all year long. Plan ahead and enjoy outdoor activity when the sun is out.
• Make a nature collage. Have kids collect rocks, leaves and twigs in your yard or at a nearby park, then assemble them into a collage as a family.
• Shoot baskets, throw a baseball, jump rope or scooter ride. Make a list of your child’s favorite outdoor activities and allow them to choose which they’ll enjoy during a set time.
• Have backyard relay races. Time your family doing relays across the yard while dribbling a soccer ball, skipping or hopping.

Don’t forget that children still should wear sunscreen and stay hydrated even in the winter! Dressing in layers can help kids stay warm while playing outside on colder days. If there happens to be rain, snow or ice, be sure to make them come inside to trade out wet clothes and warm up.

For more winter activity tips, please click HERE.

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