Favorite 5! (Heart Healthy activities for kids)

February is heart health month! Because the weather is usually cold in our area during this month, it’s sometimes hard to keep kids active and being active is a huge part of your heart being healthy.  The American Heart Association recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity a day. If you are finding it hard to do this winter, below are my Favorite 5 ways to keep kids moving!

 

1.       I am not the Mom that says, NO VIDEO games! In fact, I’ve spent the money on them, so lets play! Active Video Game Technology these days can go a long way to help, from Xbox 360® Kinect, Playstation Move and Nintendo Wii. Whether you want a customized strength training workout with the Wii or buy a kids dance game, they can find something entertaining! With Xbox 360® Kinect, you use your body as the controller — you are the ball player, the dancer, boxer or the Kung Fu Panda punching and kicking.   If you don’t have any of the active games, the library has a full lending section of games or good old fashion DVD’s. 

2.       Go Play Outside (read that as me yelling at my kids)!  Just because it’s cold outside does not mean you have to stay cooped up inside, put that hat and scarf on and go!  There are tons of activities that you can do outside in the winter. You can go ice-skating or sledding, decorate the front yard with a snowman and snow angels, and even have a snowball fight. Create an obstacle course using balls, jump ropes and buckets, simple items around the house. You can also play with a pet — take your dog for a walk or offer to take the neighbors’ pet.

3.       The Indoor Pool at our gym has been a lifesaver this winter.  I take the kids for a couple of hours on the weekend.  It’s great exercise and a fun change up when it’s so cold out.

4.       Get Involved in Structured Activity If you want to get involved in something fun and consistent, sign the kids up for rec league basketball or indoor soccer. 

5.       If you find the kids in front of the TV, have them be active during the commercial breaks or in between shows. Simple exercises such as jogging in place, body weight squats, sit-ups or jumping jacks.  Lately, my youngest has been jumping rope while binge watching Netflix, so whatever works for your house!  You can also make an “Active Space”. Set up a special place with activities you like to do. This could range from hanging a basketball hoop on the wall, taping hopscotch to the floor, indoor soccer nets (with a soft ball), placing a chair up in your room to practice ballet or a yoga mat to do poses.

Regardless of the activity you and the kids choose, there are several ways to move and be heart healthy this winter!

 

This blog is sponsored by Children’s Mercy, visit their site for more information and health kid suggestions (http://www.childrensmercy.org/Patients_and_Families/). 

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