Winter Fitness

Winter is Coming!

With cold weather comes new challenges for parents. One is getting enough exercise for the whole family.  We all know that physical activity leads to better health, but how, exactly?  Some examples of benefits to exercise include:

  • A stronger heart = less risk of heart diseaseImage result for basketball elementary
  • Lower blood pressure = less risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Stronger bones and joints = less breaks and aches
  • More sensitive to insulin = less risk of diabetes
  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Opportunities to make new friends
  • Better concentration at school

Did you know that only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day? Make your child one of them!  Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese as adults. Now is the best time to start exercising.  Here are some winter-friendly tips.

  • Start swimming lessons.  Get your child ready to go over the winter and next summer, he’ll be ready to go.
  • Pick a sport that is played indoors such as basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, hockey, gymnastics, wrestling or karate to name a few.
  • Turn off the TV.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least two hours screen-free for school age children daily.  Use that time for physical activity.
  • Be a role model.  Children who see their parents enjoying sports or physical activities are more likely to participate as well.

For the latest recommendations on healthy living for your whole family, visit and

Scott Berndt, MS3, University of Missouri College of Medicine

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