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The importance of staying active in the winter and how!

It’s easy to become sedentary in the winter. It’s cold, snowy, and definitely more difficult to want to get active! Despite the dropping temperatures, it is extremely important that you keep your child, and yourself, moving all winter long!

Why? Exercise is an extremely vital portion of any child’s development. It is important to educate your child on the importance of getting and staying active at a young age. Exercise promotes an improved overall healthy lifestyle, reduces risk of obesity, improves muscle strength, and increases the ability to concentrate on educational-related tasks. Kids benefit in so many ways from participating in daily physical activity, from improved cardiovascular capacity and bone health, to better self esteem and energy levels. Participation in exercise also helps kids to regulate their sleep schedule and foster overall daily happiness. 

How? We all know when it’s cold outside it’s harder to stay active. Try these inside and outside activities this winter to stay moving: 

-Build an obstacle course inside: Grab pillows, couch cushions, sheets, and anything else to challenge strength and balance. Try to set them up in different ways to have your child jump, crawl, balance, and transition in and out of different positions. Obstacle courses can incorporate other educational pieces too. Try placing puzzle pieces at the beginning of the obstacle course and have your child bring them one by one through the course! You can even have your child engage their own creativity and make an obstacle course for themselves to try! 

-Yoga: You can try Cosmic Kids or other YouTube Yoga videos to get your child to challenge their core strength and balance! You could also print out or draw various pictures of Yoga poses and play a matching card memory game. Once you find two matching yoga poses, you have to see who can hold the pose the longest! 

-Inside Olympics: Create various stations within your household, including jumping jacks, bear crawls, crab walks, jump rope, single leg balance, or any other activities. Mark winners at each station and then have your child color in a medal for themselves at the end of the competition! 

-Outside Play: It can be fun to get outside too, as long as you’re dressed appropriately and watching the clock to make sure you get inside before it’s too chilly for your little one! Try building snowmen, snow forts, and even shoveling snow into the biggest pile possible to stay active outside this winter! 

Stay up to date on OSP Children’s Therapy Center’s posts and newsletter for more great ideas all year long! Upcoming newsletters will include more information from occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. Information will range from fun crafts, ways to stay active, important topics in regards to children’s therapy, and upcoming events at our clinic!

Written by: Jessie Maniscalco PT, DPT

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