Stay fit and have fun this winter, even when storms and sub-zero chill keep you indoors
Get your game on
Video games don’t have to be a vice. “The new generation of active video games involve much more body movement, so they increase energy expendi-ture,” says Jean-Philippe Chaput, leading researcher at the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. Opt for games that engage your entire body, such as Adrenalin Misfits (Kinect) and Dance Dance Revolution (Wii), and make sure you have ample room to move, for better calorie burning. However, studies show kids eat more while playing video games, so be sure to swap junk food for healthy snacks.
Boot camp blast
Amanda Driscoll, a mother of two from Peterborough, Ont., sets up sweat-inducing stations for her kids in the basement. “We partner up for sit-ups, I teach them yoga poses, or my husband takes turns wrestling with the kids. It’s an insane workout,” she says. Other options: Try one minute each of shuttle runs, jumping jacks and knee-ups, and count how many your kids can crank out in 60 seconds. Set a timer and when the buzzer sounds, move to the next station.
Shake your booty
“We love music and silly dancing,” says Michelle Paradis, a mother of two and founder of Baby Busy mother-and-child dance classes in Calgary. “The kids love that we scoop them up, dip them down and twirl them around.” Up the fun factor: Turn off the lights and try a dance party in the dark with flashlights and glow sticks.
Thrill of the chase
You can’t beat a game of chase, especially with the wee ones. Add a pre-chase countdown to build anticipation (that way they learn their numbers too) and make like a monster to make it more entertaining. Rrooaarr! As kids get older, transition to games of tag.