As the temperature drops and the holiday season approaches, staying active is more challenging, but there are simple steps to incorporate exercise into family life, says an exercise expert at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).
Kathy Langdon, the district’s health and wellness coach, said there are creative and enjoyable ways to keep the whole family moving, bonding, and staying warm during the colder months.
“The holiday season is a wonderful time to come together as a family and create lasting memories,” she noted. “It’s also an opportunity to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. There are many safe ways to reduce cabin fever during this special time of year.”
Langdon’s suggestions include:
- Plan Fun and Active Outings: Whether it’s a trip to the ice-skating rink, a winter hike, or a friendly game of touch football, such outings create moments to cherish and keep everyone moving during the holidays. Finding activities that everyone enjoys ensures participation from all family members.
- Create a Home Workout Routine: Incorporate exercise routines into your family’s daily schedule. Kathy suggests family workouts that are adaptable to different fitness levels. Simple exercises like squats, jumping jacks, or yoga can be done together in your living room. This not only helps maintain physical fitness but also promotes bonding.
- Make it a Challenge: Families love healthy competition by setting goals, tracking progress, and rewarding achievements. This not only makes exercise more engaging but also teaches valuable life skills, like goal setting and perseverance.
- Cook and Eat Healthy Together: Nutrition is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. When families cook nutritious meals together, it teaches children about food choices and meal preparation.
- Be Mindful of Traditions: The holidays often involve indulgent and calorie-heavy treats, but moderation is key. Balance out the occasional indulgence with your family’s exercise routines and healthy eating habits.
“We should all do our best to ensure that our families have a happy, healthy, and active holiday season,” Langdon said. “Remember, the most important thing is spending quality time together while taking care of your well-being.”