December 20, 2011

Guest Post: Getting Out & Active In the Winter

I'm happy to introduce another guest blogger for you today, Amelia Mayer. I guest posted for her a while back and have to again say how much I love their family policy of getting outside for at least 15 minutes every day. Amelia joins us today to share a few quick tips on getting out and being active in the cold of winter and the busy holiday season. Amelia loves adventuring with her husband and two young boys in the mountains of Wyoming. As a family they believe in the power of fresh air and hot chocolate.  Amelia blogs at

I admit it: Getting outside as a family for us is just easier in the winter. As weird as it sounds, we are not huge fans of the heat. We just perform better when the air is a bit cooler (and our attitudes are a lot better too!)  Plus, with Daddy being a wildland firefighter, summers are just CRAZY for us. We relish the winter months of being able to be together as a family.

However, like everyone with kids, it also means finding a way to keep everyone warm and happy.  We work hard to fit in adventures (which also translate into workouts for at least Mama and Daddy) nearly daily. Here are some of our tips for making it work:

Ways to get outside:

A little snow + a sled = family fun!
* Go sledding (with little kids this always turns into more work for Mama and Daddy, but the laughter is priceless!)
* Make a snowman
* Go biking (we tend to have less snow in town so this is possible for us.  We love Strider bikes for the kids and they work great in the snow too!)
* Make a fort (use snow, fallen sticks, old leaves, or firewood! :))
* Go skiing or ice skating even if you don’t know how or aren’t very good at it.  It is healthy for our children to see us learning too. And laugh at yourself (they will laugh too!)
* When all else fails, do a family “Chinese Fire Drill”.  Translation - throw on a pair of shoes/boots and run around the house 2 or 3 times (carry the little ones if needed!)  Your heart will be pumping, your blood flowing from the cold air and I guarantee you will be laughing (in fun AND possibly shock!) 

Ways to Keep Warm:
layers +layers+layers=warm!
* Layer, layer, layer!  Our kids almost always have a liner glove inside their mittens and numerous other layers depending on how cold it is. We love Icebreaker long underwear as a base layer.
* Along with layering, stay away from cotton.  Wool and synthetics will keep your  kids warmer longer (and KEEP them warm when they get wet...which inevitably happens...)
* Encourage them to keep moving by moving yourself!  Monkey see, monkey do!
* End the day/adventure with warm drinks.  Hot cider or hot chocolates are big winter treats around here!

“I am WAY too busy for that, especially around the Holidays!”
* Even 15 minutes outside (with or without your kids) makes for a happier and refreshed perspective.  I have learned over the years that there is a time for everything, but that “thing” I HAVE to do can wait for a few minutes of recharging in some fresh air.  Plus, everyone is in better spirits AND more productive after some time outside.
* Remember, that you are your children’s primary teacher. If they see you making a million excuses about why you don’t want to go outside, they will do the same. Hence the “indoor kid” epidemic/obesity epidemic. 
‘Tis the season for fun in the snow/wind/fresh air.  Don’t let it pass you by!  Get out there!

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