Once the holidays pass and the real cold sets in, I sometimes start to get the blues. Being inside, not moving enough and indulging in too many “comfort foods” can really wreak havoc not only on my psyche but also just my overall wellness. I see it in my kids, too. While I’d rather stay in bed all day, they start to get stir crazy and bounce off the walls. In order to ward off those winter blues, I’ve come up with some simple but effective activities and ideas to keep our family moving, energized and feeling healthy. I like to use these to help build the perfect winter day for our family.
I have a rule that almost every day of the week, my kids (4 and 2 years old) have to get in half a mile of movement. They can either bike, scooter or walk. The fresh cold air and pumping blood are instant mood boosters and also help them sleep well. I personally have the same rule of movement but extend it to 1 mile. If I’ve got the kids with me, I bundle them up and we stroller walk or run. In less than 10 minutes we ALL feel energized!
Get those wiggles out:
I’m a HUGE fan of indoor playgrounds. Some of our favorite local places include Dynamo Gym, Bubbas Play Place, Okie Kids Playground, Breakaway Indoor Playground, the Chick-fil-a play place and the Quail Springs Mall children’s area. When sickness is at an all-time high, we make our own indoor play place. You can easily turn the kids’ room or living room into a fort and create an obstacle course with easy-to-remove painter’s tape. It will entertain your kids for a while!
Keep a nutritious diet in mind:
Maintaining a healthy diet during the winter months can be hard. I always find myself craving warm bread! An important rule we stick to is to ALWAYS start our day with a nutritious meal. Warm oatmeal and a cold green smoothie is my go-to breakfast for the entire family. For dinner, a hot entree, like chili, with baked root vegetables (think sweet or regular potatoes) indulge those cravings. Another favorite in our home is the Pioneer Woman’s Baked Beans recipe. I like to pair this recipe with a fresh-baked whole grain bread loaf from a local bakery.
Sometimes we just don’t want to leave the house and that’s ok. I love to encourage and join in on creating with my girls. We pull out the Lite-Brite, LEGOs, the sewing kit, paper, crayons, glue, whatever we can find! It always feels good to engage our minds and bodies in crafts and creations instead of turning to screen time and electronics.
The thing to remember when building a perfect winter day is that you can’t allow the cold to become an excuse. Staying active, getting fresh air, fueling your body and using your mind are the key ingredients to maintaining a sense of balance and joy during these slower, colder months.
Madi Pontikes is an early childhood educator, personal trainer and the creator and owner of Move by Madi. She creates workouts that fit into the modern mom’s daily routine, sheds light on the real aspects of healthy living and parenting, and is passionate about promoting a mindset of loving your body for what it CAN do. Connect with Madi on Instagram @movebymadi or on her website movebymadi.com.