When spring has sprung and winter's cold, gray days transition to warmth and sunshine, it can be a welcome change to get outside and get moving. But outdoor activities are not always an option when bad weather is in the forecast.
Even small amounts of physical activity done regularly provide immediate health benefits for you and your family. Just one session of moderate-to-vigorous activity helps you sleep better, lowers your blood pressure, improves heart health and reduces anxiety levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s all well and good when the sun is shining and beckoning you outside. But it’s a different ballgame when the rain is pouring down. Here are five ways to help you and your family stay physically active regardless of the weather.
Bust Out Your Dance Moves
A mini dance party is a fun way to shake off the bad-weather blues. Turn on some music and let your inner Fred Astaire shine. Even if you have two left feet, Tik Tok and YouTube have countless videos you can watch for inspiration and instruction.
Unleash Your Inner Animal
Animal races help you burn off energy and get a little silly all at the same time. Set up a racecourse down the hallway or the length of the living room and then hop like a frog, jump like a bunny or crab walk your way to the finish line. Pair it with animal sound effects and chances are good you’ll get the health benefits of laughter as well.
Work Out Your Wiggles
Traditional exercises such as jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups or leg lifts can all be done inside and they don’t need a gym membership or large amounts of space to get the desired results. Bump up the fun factor by creating an obstacle course with blankets, pillows and a laundry basket or two and see who can get to the finish line in the least amount of time.
Don’t Forget the Classics
The next time inclement weather keeps you indoors, go old-school and play a few rounds of a traditional indoor recess game like Duck, Duck, Goose or Red Light/Green Light. Easily removable tape can create a makeshift hopscotch court on the kitchen floor. Hula-hooping strengthens core muscles and can help improve coordination. And Follow the Leader that includes jumping in place, stretching and a jog around the living room, is a great way to add activity to your day without worrying about the weather.
Combine Education and Exercise
Story time takes a more active turn if you choose several words and do an action each time they're mentioned, like stand and touch your toes whenever the word “dinosaur” appears. Recite the alphabet and hop on one foot every third letter. Count aloud and do a knee bend on the odd numbers. All are ways that show learning doesn't have to be a sedentary activity.
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