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Just because the long, sunny days of summer have given way to fall's cooler temperatures doesn't mean your child's physical activity has to hit a deep freeze. Keeping your kid moving is crucial to maintaining good health, but it can be a challenge: Whereas children should be physically active for at least an hour a day, the average child gets fewer than 15 minutes of vigorous activity daily.

The good news is that your child doesn't have to be a star athlete to reap the benefits of exercise. Everyday play also fits the bill. "Kids' bodies want to be active," says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass. "Even going on a family apple-picking trip or just getting out and playing in the yard are great, fun non-competitive ways to stay active."

"Any activity, from hiking to skiing or even just playing ball with the family is great because there's no pressure to make the team," adds Westcott. "The best thing we can do is get them involved in some physical activity where they experience success."

Take it Inside

If the weather calls for indoor play, there are still plenty of options:
  • Lead your kids in a game of Simon Says and have them do fitness moves such as lunges, kicks and sit-ups or set up an inside obstacle course with items like hula hoops, softballs and cones. Have them complete the obstacle course while keeping a beanbag steady on their head. "Not only does the beanbag improve balance, it also slows kids down, making games that are normally played outdoors suited for indoor play," says kids fitness expert Scott Cole, creator of the Get Fit America for Kids program. This trick works equally well for housebound versions of tag and hide-and-seek
  • Pump up some tunes and have a dance contest. You can even join in: Create some steps in time to the music and have your child mimic them; increase their intricacy and pace. Or, invite your kids and a few friends or neighbors to invent dance routines, and offer a prize for the most original and energetic.
  • Plan family events that sneak in exercise. Schedule time at an indoor tennis court, play Ping-Pong or check out park district offerings. Weather forecast looking up? Venture outside to an apple orchard and pick fruit, schedule a session at a batting cage or even hit the zoo-a great physical activity when you consider all the walking. Bonus: Besides keeping your bodies healthy, you'll be strengthening your family bond.

Share Your Thoughts

Posted on: 4/14/2011 1:14 PM

Posted by: chantelle k

City: hudson

I think this article is so helpful! With 2 preschoolers and a middle schooler, I am always looking for creative ways to pass the time, keep things fresh. I found this extremely helpful, thanks!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 2/16/2011 7:21 AM

Posted by: Marie B

City: Selma

My family loves going to the zoo. We have annual passes and this is a great form of exercise. We also enjoy going to the park and riding our bikes through the nature trails.@JUICY JUICE USA Bunch Member.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 2/15/2011 6:17 AM

Posted by: Shannon B

City: Mishawaka

My daughter LOVES to have dance parties! We pop in her favorite CDs and dance all around the house. Sometimes we even break out my ipod!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 2/14/2011 7:27 PM

Posted by: daniel J

City: Waldorf

This was a good read. member of juicy juice

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 2/14/2011 12:52 PM

Posted by: Stacey C

City: Norcross

As a member of the Juicy Bunch, I thought this was a great article. Weve done indoor obstacle courses before as well as dance time. Or sometimes we just run as fast as we can from one end of the house to the other.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 2/10/2011 8:51 AM

Posted by: Chantel B

City: castle rock

as a member of juicy bunch I wanted to say this is a wonderful article with some great ideas on staying active inside during the colder days. We love to listen to music and dance in our house. My kids also like to dress up as superheros and put on some pretty active shows for us.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/20/2011 2:11 PM

Posted by: Angela M

City: Highland

We do pretty well going outside in the fall, but I loved some of the indoor activity ideas! Freeze dancing sounds great! - Juicy Bunch member!

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/19/2011 10:31 PM

Posted by: Annette M

City: Springfield

As a member of the Juicy Bunch, I love to take my family apple picking in the fall because the apples are ready for harvesting. Afterwards, we make candy apples together.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/18/2011 10:59 AM

Posted by: Cynthia O

City: Carrollton

Great tips. We love to listen to music while doing regular daily activities, the dance contest is a great idea. We like to use our little camera to make our own dance videos too!

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/16/2011 6:34 PM

Posted by: jennifer g

City: dunmore

I think there are some great ideas in this! We love turning on music and having a dance party in our home!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/14/2011 9:57 PM

Posted by: Torsha S

City: Fayetteville

i think this is a great artical. we stay active inside on cold days

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/12/2011 12:58 PM

Posted by: robin s

City: jeannette

Good tips. My son and I are always dancing around the house and playing hide and seek. I am pretty sure some of our neighbors might think we are a little crazy:- My son LOVES to rake leaves in the fall, Great exercise. I am sure as he gets older this will change, but for now it is a great activity for the both of us.- Juicy Bunch Member

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/10/2011 1:59 PM

Posted by: Allison W

City: Jonesborough

I think this was a really great article. As a Juicy Bunch member, I am always looking for ways to keep my kids healthy and to bring outside games into the house is a great way to do it. We will definitely try an indoor obstacle course or Simon Says with exercise moves!!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/10/2011 1:51 PM

Posted by: Allison W

City: Jonesborough

As a member of the Juicy Bunch, I am looking for ways to get my kids more healthy. This article had great ideas for bringing in outside games when the weather turns cold.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/10/2011 10:45 AM

Posted by: Helen K

City: Bear

As a member of the Juicy Bunch Community, I loved this article. It reminded me that the simplest outdoor games can easily become indoor games. That we have many things in our house that can become games. The dance contest is so easy - that I forgot!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/4/2011 9:48 AM

Posted by: Jennifer M

City: Gentry

I really enjoyed this article and some of the ideas that were provided. I also have enjoyed reading some of the other posts with ideas as well.---Juicy Juice Member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/4/2011 6:57 AM

Posted by: leilani l

City: jonesville

Great ideas! I will be implementing some of these into our daily game/play routine! --Juicy Bunch Member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/4/2011 6:26 AM

Posted by: Carmen D

City: elizabethtown

To beat the blahs I have an entire box of craft activities and ideas so we can just choose one to do and if it happens to be on a weekend Lowes,HomeDepot,and Michaels in our area offer free activities for kids as well.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 1/3/2011 1:45 PM

Posted by: Tina K

City: Anthem, AZ

We live in AZ, and it is the summer blahs of 110 degree days that sometimes require inside time. My kids love using pillows/blankets to build an obstacle course, or playing one of the many active games on the Wii, or an inside game of hide and go seek where I hide an object and they race to find it. Treasure hunts are also fun.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 1/3/2011 12:43 PM

Posted by: caryn w

City: cincinnati

Great ideas on how to keep the little ones busy! indoor games can be just as fun as outdoors and they are a nice change of pace!

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 12/29/2010 10:59 AM

Posted by: Jessica J

City: Pembroke Pines

This article really gave me some great new ideas to help keep my family active while indoors. I cant wait to try them with my daughter!- Juicy Bunch Member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/28/2010 7:09 AM

Posted by: T m

City: Osseo

Our family LOVES to be outside, so when the weather gets too bad, its not just the kids who get bored! I totally forgot about Simon Says, so we will defintely be trying that one out! We do a lot of imaginative play when the weather is bad. -Juicy Bunch member

Rated: ***No StarNo Star

Posted on: 12/27/2010 7:41 PM

Posted by: Carrie C

City: Lansing

We still try to get outside in the fall as much as possible. This past fall we took many walks until the time change. After that we try to stay active with dancing and games to make the evenings go quickly. One fall tradition we do though is getting to a local cider mill as many times as we can.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 12/21/2010 1:24 PM

Posted by: Ana W

City: San Antonio

We beat the blahs but reading books and working on arts and crafts!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/21/2010 11:01 AM

Posted by: stacey r

City: Salem

As a member of The Juicy Bunch, this was a great article! I loved some of the new ideas..and I had totally forgotten about Simon Says! Cant wait to try it out!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/16/2010 8:27 AM

Posted by: Elizabeth D

City: Bristol

Wonderful article! We like playing the Wii in our pajamas when the weather is too blah to play outside!!--A Member of the Juicy Bunch

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/14/2010 12:24 PM

Posted by: teresa s

City: oak lawn

as a member of the juicy bunch we do love to have friends over for snacks and games. Things like simon says are new to us but my kids are just at the age to play. We like to have the kids make homemade pizza and then let them play while it cooks.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 12/10/2010 10:14 AM

Posted by: chelsae g

City: saginaw

As a member of The Juicy Bunch, I was glad to see that you listed a game of Simon Says as a way to beat the blahs. I think that it is very interesting that you suggested adding exercise moves. Good Idea, I may just take that from ya! Thanks!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/7/2010 1:21 PM

Posted by: Kelli A

City: Venango

I love playing outdoors with the kids in the fall. It is my favorite time of year. We love to play in the leaves and see how many different ones we can find. -member of juicy bunch

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/7/2010 6:48 AM

Posted by: linda l

City: ri

This article is great and I will definitely be using some of these ideas myself..thanks!!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/6/2010 7:03 AM

Posted by: Monique B

City: Cumberland

Play, inside or out is a great way to grow as a family. Great article and addition to the Juicy Juice Bunch Boards for reading. Glad I am a part of the Bunch.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 12/5/2010 2:49 PM

Posted by: Barb K

City: ELO

As a member of the juicy bunch I enjoyed this article. It reminded me of some of the things I used to do as a kid back before we had cable tv and video games

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/4/2010 2:48 PM

Posted by: marsha s

City: Commack

As a member of the Juicy Bunch Community, I enjoyed this article. It reminded me of the importance of active play,indoors or out.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/4/2010 8:27 AM

Posted by: Casey H

City: ELO

Great Article!!! gave me some new fresh ideas to try with my girls

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/3/2010 10:17 PM

Posted by: reva m

City: stockton

Its a wonderful article.with kids it gave some very good ideas all everything is easy with everyday things. -Member of juicyBunch

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/2/2010 4:21 PM

Posted by: J. Z

City: Temple City

Cute ideas. My dauther would love the dance activity. Thanks for sharing!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 12/2/2010 7:25 AM

Posted by: Matt D

City: Cleveland

We get snow early here so our fall activities involve playing in the snow. Great article!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/30/2010 1:54 PM

Posted by: Marissa F

City: hiawatha

Love the ideas. We like playing wii when the weather is too blah to play outside!!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/30/2010 11:50 AM

Posted by: Sasha R

City: las vegas

It had some fun and good ideas! :

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 11/28/2010 10:36 PM

Posted by: Samantha R

City: Covington

Interesting article that has some great and fun ideas. It will be exciting to try the activities. ~A Juicy Bunch member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/28/2010 7:35 PM

Posted by: Holli P

City: Tinley Park

As a member of the Juicy Bunch I find this article to have creative and useful ideas to beat the winter blahs. I will try some of these with my family. I signed my son up for indoor sports at our rec center. He will be getting plenty of excersise during our winter season.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/28/2010 5:38 PM

Posted by: Bergina C

City: Stone Mountain

Great article! I love the suggestions and have done some myself with my energetic 5-year-old. As a juicy bunch member, I am grateful for any suggestions and activities to keep the kids busy. Thanks Juicy Juice!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/28/2010 10:58 AM

Posted by: Justin K

City: Philly

This was a great article. I live In Philadelphia so its cold, rainy and snowy alot so having fun indoor activities is a must around the house. We love having competitions and different activities while indoors. Thanks for the great article. A Juicy Bunch Member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/27/2010 6:57 PM

Posted by: Angela L

I really like the obstacle course idea. Anything that incorporates a hula hoop gets my daughter interested! We usually have mild weather but last year was so cold, its good to get some tips. -a member of The Juicy Bunch

Rated: ***No StarNo Star

Posted on: 11/27/2010 2:19 PM

Posted by: Krista B

City: Sandston

As a member of the Juicy Bunch Team, I thought this was a refreshing reminder of an article, ......more so for myself than for my daughter. LOL She already does a good job of staying active indoors mostly with the dancing/singing, but I think Mommy could take some pointers from her. :-

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 11/27/2010 7:02 AM

Posted by: april h

City: martinsville

As a member of the juicy bunch I love this article and really try to keep my family active!

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 11/27/2010 5:37 AM

Posted by: Erin M

City: Redlands

As a member of the Juicy Bunch, I am so glad that I read this article. I always forget that my daughter gets stir crazy in the house. I love the idea of turning up the music and just dancing :

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/27/2010 2:10 AM

Posted by: sue u

City: louisiana

as a member of the juicy bunch, I thought this article was wonderful. full of great information

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/25/2010 9:04 PM

Posted by: nj g

City: ND

As a member of the Juicy Juice team I was very impressed by the article. Due to the harsh cold weather that we have in our area finding activies to do is hard. After reading this I do have some new ideas to try.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/25/2010 8:27 PM

Posted by: Leah K

City: Appleton

This article was great... A lot of people let physical activity fall by the wayside in the winter months and that is not good at all! In addition to having dance contests we really enjoy the Kids in Motion cds! They have great silly dance songs that kids really enjoy-- and they definitely keep you moving!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/25/2010 6:20 PM

Posted by: Michel F

City: Platte City

I love the idea of playing Simons Says indoors to encourage activity and to beat the blahs ... a member of the Juicy Juice team

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/25/2010 5:58 AM

Posted by: Melissa L

City: South Mills

As a member of the Juicy Juice Team, I really liked the ideas in this article. Its hard to keep the kids active during the cold winter months and now we have a plan.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 11:08 PM

Posted by: alex j

City: elberton

there is so much truth in this and good advice on how to beat the blahs

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 10:47 PM

Posted by: sue j

City: elberton

as a member of juicy juice team I really loved this article great advice

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 10:29 PM

Posted by: Melinda J

City: elberton

There is a lot of good advice here

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 11/24/2010 6:53 PM

Posted by: yen v

City: gainesville

I am a member of juicy bunch and i love this article. Very helpful tips especially about the dancing. Great stuff!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 1:11 PM

Posted by: Mellisa R

City: McAlester

As a member of the Juicy Bunch and mother of 4 I can really appreciate this article. Its so important to make sure that kids get exercise even when the weather doesnt cooperate. I love the idea of the indoor racquetball - going to look into that myself.

Rated: ****No Star

Posted on: 11/24/2010 7:35 AM

Posted by: Betsy B

City: Philadelphia

We also love to dance and the other suggestions sound like stuff my kids would think are actually fun. -Juicy Bunch member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 7:35 AM

Posted by: Betsy B

City: Philadelphia

We also love to dance and the other suggestions sound like stuff my kids would think are actually fun. -Juicy Bunch member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/24/2010 4:44 AM

Posted by: amanda h

City: lancaster

as a member of the juicy bunch.. I love this article. I am always doing the same indoor activities, it is great to have a few extra ideas... like simon says, I havent thought about that game in 2 decades!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/23/2010 8:48 PM

Posted by: Corryn F

City: Leesburg

Great article! I definitely like the dancing advic. When we are bored at home we always find it fun to turn on the radio and dance silly it makes everyone laugh and have so much fun. - Member of the Juicy Bunch

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/23/2010 6:40 PM

Posted by: Charissa S

City: Tangent

This was a great article. I live in an area that gets rain about 9 months out of the year, so having new and fun indoor activities is something thats a bit of a must in my house. We have mini dance parties at least twice a day where we just turn on some fun dance music and clean the house and dance to the music. All three of my little ones love it. Thanks for the great article. Proud Juicy Bunch Member

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/23/2010 1:00 PM

Posted by: Divya P

City: Sterling, VA

I am a member of the Juicy Bunch community and I just loved reading this article. It has some nice tips on what to do during when the weather is not as good for an outing. I will definitely be trying them out. Thanks!

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/23/2010 10:26 AM

Posted by: Dede B

City: Sequim,WA

I think a lot of us feel the blahs in the colder and grayer winter months. Its alway nice to read some other peoples ideas on how to beat it. I like to try to pretend its summer sometimes. We have a picnic in our living room...crank up the heat and lay out in our bathing suits on towels, watching a movie.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/23/2010 7:40 AM

Posted by: Amber V

City: Ft. myers, Fl

I think the ideas in this article are unique and interesting. I am definately going to try some and share the ideas with my childrens teachers. These are great activities for rainy days.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/22/2010 6:44 PM

Posted by: Becky P

City: Noble

I loved this article. It offered a lot of ideas for indoor and outdoor fun. Dancing is our favorite indoor activity. Kick ball is our favorite outdoor activity in the fall, plus walks around the town and park.

Rated: *****

Posted on: 11/22/2010 4:53 PM

Posted by: Moira M

City: Abbot

This article gave me some GREAT new ideas for indoor fun on days like today: freezing rain and sleet made outdoor activities a not happening thing. My kids and I play Simon Says all the time but I never thought of adding exercise moves to the routine, or to set up an indoor obstacle course. This grateful Juicy Bunch member says Thanks!

Rated: *****

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