Baby It’s Cold Outside — Let’s Go Out and Play!
It’s important to stay active year round, even if that means you have to get outside and play in the snow or frost. This probably won’t be a big deal for the kiddos, but some of us adults might need a little push. It’s important for kids (and adults) to stay active because it helps to prevent chronic disease like Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension. Other benefits of staying active are decreased mood swings, higher self-esteem, increased concentration, muscle and bone strength, decreased body fat, improved cardiovascular capacity and better sleep.
Here are some fun outdoor family activities that will help keep your heart in shape through the winter months.
Go to the park. Most kids will want to stay away from the parks this time of year, but not yours. Your family is going to play and burn some calories. Use the monkey bars, run around, fly a kite. Just have fun.
Play in the snow. This one is probably pretty obvious for those of you that live in snowy climates. Think about all of the calories you can burn having a snowball fight with your neighbors or while creating a snowman. Plus, the memories will be priceless.
Go indoor or outdoor ice skating. Ice skating is a great exercise for the entire family and it’s super fun. Enjoy the scenery and get some fresh air while making memories with your kids.
Baby It’s Too Cold Outside — Let’s Stay In and Play!
If you absolutely can’t play outside, I encourage you to check out this list of fun indoor activities that will help burn some extra calories.
Bean bag toss. This is a great game for children ages 1-3. Have your little one toss bean bags into laundry baskets to increase hand-eye coordination, throwing skills and balance.
Play a game of sleeping giants or Simon says. Ask your kids to jump up and down until you say ‘sleeping giants.’ Once they hear ‘sleeping giants’ they must fall to the ground and pretend they are sleeping until they hear ‘waking giants.’ For ‘Simon says,’ ask your kids to do various activities but only when ‘Simon says.’ Don’t forget to join in, too!
Build an obstacle course. This is always a fun one to do any time of year. Use sheets, play tunnels, hula hoops, etc. to create an obstacle course throughout the house. Hop like a bunny from hula hoop to hula hoop, crawl like a soldier through the tunnels, and get through the sheets without touching them. Get creative!
Have a dance party. This is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do with mommy and daddy. We turn on some fun beats and have a dance party in the house.
Healthy Eating Habits During the Holidays and Winter Months
By far, the simplest component of a healthy lifestyle to control is your diet. I’m not talking about going on a diet here, folks. I’m talking about clean eating and portion control. Most of us are exposed to LARGE meals and multiple options during the holidays so how on earth are we supposed to resist the temptations? It’s easy – don’t! Just try to use this helpful guide to control portion sizes.
Thinking about the traditional Thanksgiving-type foods (which most of us cook for Christmas or New Years, too) there are foods like sweet potatoes, turkey, ham, rolls, cranberries, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. Let’s do some tweaking to these recipes to make them ‘cleaner.’
Turkey or Ham – These are pretty much safe to eat but remember to stick to a serving size. Don’t forget to trim the fat and remove the skin, too.
Rolls – Swap white rolls with whole grain or whole wheat rolls for. Remember this catchy phrase – ‘The whiter the bread the quicker you’re dead.’ (not sure where I heard that).
Sweet Potatoes – Omit the marshmallows, excess butter and brown sugar. Try baked sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole.
Green Beans – Green beans are healthy, right? Sure they are! Just not with the cream of mushroom soup, milk and french’s fried onions on top. Try steaming your green beans and topping them with a little parmesan cheese.
Cranberries – I’ve only made my own cranberry sauce a couple of times and I can tell you that both times the recipes called for sugar, sugar and more sugar. Look for a recipe with less sugar or try using applesauce instead.
Mashed Potatoes – Try baked potatoes or roasted red potatoes with herbs instead.
Gravy – Go ahead and indulge on gravy. Why not?
Dessert – Enjoy dessert in moderation or skip altogether. Ha!
Okay, so what do we eat between the holidays?
There are so many veggies that are in season during the Fall and Winter months. For example, acorn squash, brussel sprouts sweet potatoes, kale, and various winter squash. You will also find lots of fruits like apples, bananas, avocados and anything else that can be imported. My family lives off of bananas and Cuties (tangerines) during the winter months. Try incorporating some of these fruits and veggies into each meal. Most of the time you can find lots of fruits and veggies in the frozen aisle at your local grocery store if you are looking for more of a variety.
Psst… Hyland’s has just launched a new Holiday Challenge tab on their Facebook page to help us all set healthy goals this holiday season and most importantly, stick to them. Sign up to receive valuable Hyland’s coupons, inspirational tips and more special opportunities that are only available to Hyland’s Holiday Challenge participants.
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Disclaimer: Sponsored by Hyland’s. I am a Hyland’s Homeopathy Ambassador and receive various products and gift cards from Hyland’s and promotional partners at no cost to me. All views and opinions expressed on this blog post and corresponding social network mentions are my own and are not to be interpreted as medical advice.