Winter workouts you can do with your kids.
To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, kids Just Want to Have Fun. That's all they really want.
So when working out with your kids, don't think about it in the same way you think about working out for yourself. Kids don't really understand or care too much about the intrinsic value of exercise. They probably know on some level that exercise is good and that moving around is fun but they're not going to do squats and bicep curls just for the sake of it.
What they do enjoy, however, is tasks. So instead of just feeling the burn or going through an exercise that they don't like because the value will come at the end or in the future, they would much prefer to complete a task just because that task exists right now. And they will have some enjoyment just finishing the project.
Children are more short-term focused than long-term focused.
So instead of a child doing 10 reps by 3 sets of squats, you could get them to touch their bum to a soccer ball as many times as they can in 30 seconds. Then challenge them to beat their score.
And it helps if you join in.
You should also involve them in constructing the workout. Allow them to choose an exercise, or to invent a silly movement that you both have to do.
Deep down kids just want to feel like they belong.
Another thing the little monsters love is competition. A good old-fashioned race, of any kind, always seems to put a smile on their faces (It's your call whether you let them win or not).
Now in terms of winter activities, obviously weather is a factor. Here in Vancouver it doesn't snow much but it does rain a lot. Something I'm familiar with coming from Ireland.
So for this reason you might be looking at doing some indoor activities. You could have games at home where you just disguise exercises as tasks. You could set up some sort of obstacle course. Eg: crawl under the coffee table, jump over the couch, the floor is hot lava etc etc.
Or you could get out amongst the weather. If you do have snow, snowball fights use up a lot of energy. Splashing in the puddles is something that I've never seen a kid say no to.
Then there's more obvious things like indoor rock climbing, swimming, indoor soccer and the likes.
Now depending on the age of the child, this could be a great opportunity to start teaching them about more traditional exercise and the value of exercise.
If they're really enjoying some of the tasks you are playing with them then you can show them how they can get better through practice. You can teach them a little bit about body mechanics. You can educate them on the importance of quality nutrition from their food.
This will set them on the road to a natural, healthy lifestyle.
A lot of adults view exercise as a chore. Chores got put off. If a child understands the value of physical health from an early age it will always be in their interest to stay fit and healthy. If they relate it to having fun and connecting with their loved ones then they will get a more intrinsic enjoyment from it.
This is also a chance for you to expose them to different sports and activities so that they can find one that they're interested in that they may pursue later on in life. A big mistake a lot of parents make is getting their kid into only one sport far too early. This has been shown to create mental burnout, overuse injuries and simply put, a lack of enjoyment.
So there you go parents, hopefully this can help you get and keep your kids active.
Remember kids want to be just like their parents so if you are doing it and enjoying it then they will also do it and enjoy it.