With the snowpocolypse that has dumped regularly across the United States it can be hard to find ways to keep kids healthy and fit. Even here in Houston, we have seen our share of cold, wet, raining and sleet days. It may seem too cold for our children to play outside and quite often it's too wet too. The Houston Family Examiner recently had the opportunity to talk to the makers of Adventure to Fitness to find out more about getting and keeping our kids fit and healthy through exercise and activities.
Houston Family Examiner: How much physical activity should our children be getting each day?
Adventure to Fitness: It's recommended that children have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. It's ok if you miss a day; nobody is going to be perfect. But try to make up for it with 20 or 30 extra minutes the next day. If you're short on ideas, here are some of our favorite winter activities.
Houston Family Examiner: I've noticed that my children and even their friends too seem to be spending a great deal of time on the screen. How can we take advantage of this interest?
Adventure to Fitness: Screen time will happen. It is the nature of spending more time inside during the winter. Try to make it productive with a "whitelist" of acceptable educational or interactive options. Use streaming kids' fitness videos to get kids moving indoors.
Houston Family Examiner: Maybe we could even take advantage of it and reward them with additional screen time for every minute of movement they do. What about if we want the kids to get out and about and get some fresh air. I admit some days I even turn off the heat and open the windows for a few minutes just to freshen up the house and I always feel better after I do.
Adventure to Fitness: Parents need to be aware of the temperatures outside but there are still opportunities to play outside if you are careful. It's recommended that below 20 degrees is indoors-only weather. 20-30 degrees is acceptable for outdoor play, but kids must wear extra layers, gloves, hats, and come inside for warming breaks at least every 30 minutes. Above 30 degrees, dress warm and go wild!
One really good way to get fit when playing outside not only will help them with their health, but with safety too. Teach kids to be aware of winter hazards. Kids have less experience and are at greater risk for injury due to trips and falls. Show them how to sidestep slowly across slippery surfaces, or teach them to spot slush and black ice and avoid it altogether. Not only does it provide good exercise as they stretch those muscles, but teaches they to be aware of their environment and dangers around them.
Houston Family Examiner: Do you have any additional healthy living tips for keeping our kids fit during the winter months, and let's face it we may even have some pretty cold spring days if this crazy weather keeps up.
Adventure to Fitness: Germs go into a breeding frenzy in the winter because people spend a lot of time in warm, damp, close quarters. Make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. Teach your child proper hand washing technique and require they wash several times daily. To make sure children are getting their hands clean try having them sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or the ABC song.
Houston Family Examiner: Those songs don't work for my children anymore but they do like to play their toothbrush for brushing teeth and washing hands to the tune of 2 minutes of One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."
Thank you to Adventure to Fitness for discussing some ideas for keeping our kids fit all year round.
About Adventure to Fitness
Adventure to Fitness (AtoF) is the #1 educational fitness program for kids, reaching 10 million children around the world. Through engaging videos, interactive games, tips from physicians, informative blog posts and recipes, AtoF's at-home fitness program offers a 360-degree solution to health and wellness education. Used and trusted by over 100,000 teachers, AtoF was developed with input from leading educational, medical and parenting experts. For more information, visit http://www.adventuretofitness.com