February is Heart Health month, a great time to challenge your family to get out and get active. I’m partnering with United Healthcare to give you some heart-healthy challenges this month!
Believe me, I’m the first person who thinks putting outdoor, winter, activities, with kids, all in the same sentence… is a complete oxymoron. But I’m also telling you it can be done! Because I just did it all this past week!
That time our family froze our faces off going ice skating?
Yes, let me tell you about that. This winter, I determined not to let the cold keep me from exercising. I absolutely do not like being cold, but I am challenging myself to spend more time outside with the kids, even in winter, so I stocked up on wool socks, snow pants, snow coats, boots, and a bajillion pairs of gloves.
This weekend I decided ice skating would be a great family activity (and it generally is). Only Saturday it was 12 degrees… with a wind chill of can’t-feel-my-face. Still, it was the last day for free skating at Hartford’s Bushnell Park, so off we went, the kids bundled up so all you could see were their eyes and noses!
I’ll admit it – we only made it fifteen minutes before the kids were done-done-done with this activity. The most exercise we got was struggling to stay upright on skates while holding two small children. But I’m still happy we went. Why? Because getting outside, spending time together, and staying active despite the cold is important for good health and well-being! And next time, I’ll pick a milder day… or go to an indoor skating rink!
Since ice skating didn’t work out – we opted for the much more tame activity of sledding down our hill and making snow angels in the front yard! Sledding is, in fact, a great outdoor exercise. Walking up and down hills (or pulling kids around through foot-high snow) is a cardio workout in itself!
Here’s a list of outdoor winter activities with kids:
- Ice skating (pick a nice day!)
- Walking (especially when there’s no snow, walking is a great cold weather activity)
- Build a snowman (do I need to sing the song?!)
- Have a snowball fight
- Build an igloo or snow fort
- Make snow angels
All of these get you out, get you moving, and get you having fun!
Taking care of your heart through healthy exercise is a win for the entire family, because it gets you up and moving around and allows you to spend time together.
I challenge you to pick an activity each week and get outside as a family.
15-30 minutes of brisk outdoor activity can be a great way to bond and get healthy this year! (and depending on what Puxatawny Phil sees today, winter may be coming to a close soon!).
I’ve also made a family exercise tracking chart you can print and use! I’ve included spaces for twelve exercise times per month. Track what you do, the duration, as well as who participated. Use this chart as incentive for your whole family, and reward yourselves if you fill it in by the end of the month!
What are your favorite outdoor winter activities for kids?
This is a partnered post with United Healthcare, and I was compensated for sharing this message. All opinions are my own.