January 2016…Wintry weather often keeps people indoors where it is warm and cozy! And even though that sounds like a good idea, it’s still important to stay active year round.
Margaret O’Neil, Ph.D., a member of the Healthy NewsWorks Healthcare and Scientific Editorial Committee, offers a few ideas to help you have a happy, active, and healthy 2016, indoors or out:
Dancing in the street (or in the den or kitchen)
Dancing is a fun way to increase activity and fitness for the whole family. How about playing three or four of your favorite songs to have a 15- to 20-minute family dance party a couple of days a week? You can learn about your parents’ favorite music and they can hear yours too!
Family fitness time
Do you belong to a community recreation or fitness center? If you do, great! How about going there once or twice a week for some structured exercise program to increase your strength and flexibility—maybe a yoga class or a strength-training class? If you don’t belong to a center, you can start a home-based yoga or strength-training program! Be sure to ask a gym teacher or fitness instructor for advice on proper form to avoid injury!
Walking, talking, and playing
Bundle up and take a walk with your family and friends! Brisk walks are great exercise to help keep you active and fit. Other ideas include playing “Simon Says” or “Twister.” You can have fun and stretch those muscles at the same time!
But don’t forget …
• Warm up before “intensive” exercise (slow, active movement) and cool down afterwards (stretching) .
• Wear proper clothing and footwear.
• Be sure to drink plenty of water—stay hydrated.
• Remember: cars run better on a full tank of gas! Eat healthy food, so you have a full tank and lots of energy to be active.
• Most of all – HAVE FUN!!!