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Stay healthy to beat winter blahs

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GINA R. HEINE
December 22, 2007
— As you adjust your activities to several months of cold weather, it’s easy to drop your exercise habits.

But just because the mercury drops doesn’t mean you still don’t need at least 30 minutes of daily activity. Children need at least 60 minutes of moving on most days.


Staying active in winter also can help beat the cold-weather blues.


The Nutrition and Health Associates in Janesville and Beloit suggest these family activities:


Get moving indoors


--Read books together and act out the stories to give them movement.


--Turn on music and dance.


--Create an obstacle course—kids love to tumble over pillows, crawl through boxes and jump through hula hoops.


--Build a fort.


--Go bowling.


--Go to the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.


--Do exercise videos in your living room.


--Make bread, soft pretzels or pizza—knead, shape and roll dough.


Get moving outdoors


--Shovel snow.


--Bundle up for snow play—create snow angels or make paths through the snow.


--Take a neighborhood walk.


--Go sledding or ice skating.


--Have a snowball fight.


--Decorate an outdoor tree for the birds—hang apples, pinecones rolled in peanut butter or popcorn strings.


Remember these tips


--Cover your child’s head with a hat. Body heat is lost through uncovered heads, and a hood can interfere with moving and seeing.


--Dress your child in layers for warmth. Be sure that he or she can move easily for fun and safety.


--Tie a scarf over your child’s nose and mouth to warm the air that’s breathed in. Tuck the scarf inside the coat so it won’t get caught in play equipment.



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