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Indoor Activities for Winter Days

By Dayle Hayes, MS, RD

Playing outside is nearly always more fun and usually more vigorous than indoor activity. However, the weather is sometimes just too frightful and families need to have many inside alternatives. Active video games (like Wii™) are an option. Video games usually expend more energy than sitting on a couch in front of the TV or playing regular video games. The energy used does vary dramatically from person to person and is generally in the same range as moderate walking.

PLAN

  • At home: Make a list of your favorite upbeat music for “dance breaks” (after school, during TV ads, or while doing homework) and be ready for some spontaneous play.
  • In school: Teachers can add brain breaks (www.jamschoolprogram.com/) during class. Many schools also now open their gyms during out-of-school times for families.
  • About town: Family nights are offered in schools, community centers, and YMCA-YWCAs. Check what’s happening in your town or get involved in organizing some!

PLAY

Here is a short list of indoor activity options for your family. Need more ideas? Get together for a family brainstorm and put your list up on the fridge or bulletin board.

  1. Dance, dance, dance: Put on some tunes and rock the house with fun moves.
  2. Show off your talents: Let family members take turns leading an activity.
  3. Activate commercial breaks: Get up and get moving during TV breaks.
  4. Plan a scavenger hunt: Maybe you can find missing socks and other stuff?
  5. Build a crawl-thru obstacle course: Use big pillows, chairs, and blankets.
  6. Have a hula contest: All it takes is a hoop or two and a wide open space.
  7. Play charades: Use an active theme (like animals) and move like your word.
  8. Hide and seek: Use the whole house, basement, and garage (if heated) .
  9. Twist yourself in knots: For about $15, the game of Twister is a ton of fun!
  10. Take a trip: Go to a mall for a walk, a Y for a swim, or a rink for a skate.

ENJOY

Make it fun, do it together! Turn off the TV and the other screen entertainment (DVD, computers, and video games). Fill your home with active fun any month of the year.

Eat Right Montana’s new online library of healthy tips and recipes can be downloaded for free at www.eatrightmontana.org/eatrighthealthyfamilies.htm



Dayle HayesDayle Hayes, MS, RD
Author, Speaker, and Nutrition Therapist

Dayle Hayes is a registered dietitian committed to innovative, delicious nutrition solutions for busy families. As a consultant to Billings Clinic, she specializes in positive nutrition tips, eating disorders, and sports nutrition. Dayle graduated from U. Mass-Boston and received a Masters of Science in Community Health Education from U. Mass-Amherst.
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