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Snow. Do you have any yet? If there is (or was) snow - enough to cover the ground and have some fun in - what activities would you do? What would your kids want to do? I bet snow ball fights, going sledding, and making a snow man come to mind, right? That's GREAT because those all make the list of kid-friendly winter activities that double as a workout! Some of these you might not think of as a traditional workout, but there are many exercise benefits in all of these activities, and your kids will love being outside playing with you. If you have snow on the ground already, try some of these over the holiday break. If not, pin this now and save it for when winter is really here.
1 | Sledding
Remember the good ol' days of sledding as a kid? That rush you got when you were flying down that hill at what felt like the speed of light, going over the ramps and being catapulted into the air, and landing at the bottom of the hill with a huge smile and surge of adrenaline. But then came the hard part: the walk back up. Well that's where the workout comes in. Depending of course on how steep your hill is, you can get some serious leg work in! Not to mention the cardio if you're jogging or running back up. Whew!
2 | Making Snow Angels
Okay, so this one may not be a real workout, but I had to include it because it does actually work quite a few muscles, and you can make it worth your while. If the snow is packed, think about pressing the backs of your arms into the snow as hard as you can to work your shoulders and back. If it's the light fluffy stuff, try making those angel wings & gown big to stretch your muscles and work on range of motion of the hips and shoulders.
3 | Building A Snow Man
I posted this Snowman Building Workout last week that has many actual exercises in it, but building a snowman is a workout in and of itself, too! Especially if you're building the giant ones! Rolling the huge balls of snow takes a lot of upper body strength and works your lower body as you squat to lift the ball up as you build. The wet heavy snow makes for a better workout here (and a better snowman!), but of course remember good form as you roll and lift - use your lower body and lift with your legs, not your lower back.
4 | Having A Snow Ball Fight
Snowball fights are cardio central! No one wants to get hit, so you're constantly on the move. All that dodging and quick foot work is great for working in all planes of motion. Obviously you're not getting much of an upper body workout here, but the overhand throwing motion is good for working shoulder mobility. Just be careful and please don't have a snowball fight if you have any shoulder injuries!
5 | Building A Snow Fort
Man, I remember building an EPIC snow fort one year when after we got a huuuuge storm. It had rooms, and a sweet tunnel... and wow, it was a lot of work! All the shoveling involved (thank you Mom and Dad!), packing down the snow, or making bricks if that's your thing. Those things all work some major muscles and shouldn't be discounted as a workout just because it's fun! Get in there with your kids and make this year's fort the best one yet!
There you have it! I hope you all are having a great week so far and are all set for the holidays! I can't believe Christmas Eve is TOMORROW. How crazy! I'm traveling home to Rhode Island to be with friends and family, so I likely won't catch you until next week after Christmas. I'll be sure to check back in with a few more workouts for 2015, and see how you're all doing! Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you and yours, and remember to enjoy yourself. :)
Readers: chat with me! What fun snow adventures do you have planned this year? Do you do any of the above with your kids (or friends for those of you who don't have kids) when it snows? Do you feel like you get a good workout in? Are you ready for the holidays?