5 Tips to Keep your Family Physically Active during the Winter

I can’t believe we are already into our second week of 2017. How many of you vowed to make health a priority? Did you know that exercise more,  lose weight, and eat better are the top three New Year’s Resolution, with exercise at the top.  As a dietitian, health related goals are at the forefront of all my social media accounts. If you need some good nutrition tips on how to make your resolutions a success check out my tips here. For some basic nutrition tips check out Home Grown Life’s  beginners guide to healthy eating.

Physical activity is another topic I am passionate about. Like healthy eating, regular physical activity for the whole family is essential to good health.  Maintaining physical activity is important for weight maintenance, immunity, mood, sleep and overall health. With colder temperatures during the winter months getting outside for regular physical activity may seem challenging for some. Don’t let the colder temperatures scare you away there are so many family fun ways to stay active throughout the winter. Check out our 5 tips to keep your family active during the winter.

Physical activity is important for the whole family, however many of us are not meeting the daily physical activity recommendations.  Its essential for kids to learn that we all need physical activity to stay healthy but that physical activity is fun too.

What are the daily physical activity recommendations:

Age:          Minutes of physical activity

5-11               60 minutes/day (moderate to vigorous)

12-18            60 minutes/ day ( moderate to vigorous)

18-64           150 minutes/week

Advantages of regular physical activity:

  • Daily physical activity that is moderate to vigorous has many health benefits such as:
  • Decrease stress
  • Weight maintenance and/or loss
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved psychological health
  • Strengthen immunity

5 Tips to keep your family active during the winter:

Be a good role model:

Like healthy eating, parents play an important role in teaching kids the benefits of physical activity. Kids whose parents  are physically active on a regular basis are more likely to be active themselves. With kids we may have to rearrange our  schedule to get regular physical activity. Try going for a run in the early morning, doing workout videos, and or taking a class. Another great option is to go for a run while you are waiting for your kids to finish their skating lesson. Challenge yourself by joining a running club for a 10km run or join a snow shoeing club.  Do family activities together like hiking, snowshoeing, skiing.

Make it fun:

Let’s face it if exercise seems like a chore you are going to hear a lot of grumbling. Not fun or motivating for anyone.  Let everyone in the family have input on family fun activities. I remember going sledding and building snow forts with my brother’s for hours. Experts agree that picking an activity that is fun is the best way to keep the whole family active.

we love winter

Dress appropriately:

I don’t know about you but you don’t want to be around me if I am cold. Invest in some good winter clothing like a thermal long johns, boots, socks, gloves, jackets, snow pants, and toques.

Schedule it in:

Time constraints are one of the top barriers to getting in regular exercise. Making it a priority by scheduling in regular exercise. Check out the community centres for weekend family skates or winter fun activities for the whole family.

Plan a winter vacation:

While warm destinations seem like the best way to escape winter, planning a winter activity is just as much fun. Many ski resorts offer a variety of fun winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and sledding. You will definitely meet your daily physical recommendations and have a lot of family fun.

Fun winter outdoor physical activities for the whole family:

1).  Sledding and/or Tobogganing

2). Ice Skating

3). Snow shoeing

4). Skiing

5). Building snowmen and/or snow forts


Physical Activity Resources:

 Physical Activity Line (PAL) is a free online or telephone service by registered physiotherapists for British Columbians.

City of Vancouver your resource to a variety of winter activities offered through the community centre such as ice skating.

Go outside and play!




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