Pediatrics | Published December 19, 2018 | Written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician, Mount Nittany Physician Group Family Medicine

Keeping kids active during the winter season

With short days and cold temperatures, it’s hard not to long for the days of summer when the kids can go out and play all evening. Here’s how your family can stay active during the winter season:

  • Have a dance party! Turn up the tunes and bust out your favorite moves.
  • Play interactive video games that allow for players to move and jump around.
  • Sign up for inside activities such as martial arts or indoor swimming lessons at the local YMCA or youth center.
  • Train as a family for a winter 5K
  • You can still play outside! Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing such as mittens, hat, and scarf to protect against the colder temperatures.
  • If you have space, set up a place to keep active in your home where kids can set up games like hopscotch, inside hockey, or more.
  • Invent your own game! Use items around the house and your imagination to create an obstacle course or other game to keep the whole family moving.

Obese youth are at risk for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Obese adolescents are especially at risk for prediabetes, while children and adolescents who are obese are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems.

Long-term, youth who are obese are more likely to remain obese into adulthood and are at a greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis and cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, cervix, prostate, as well as myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Staying active during the winter months can help beat the winter blues and keep your kids healthy and happy.