5 Ways to Make Fitness a Family Affair This Winter


Even if you live in a place where temperatures don’t drop dramatically in the wintertime, ‘tis the season of parties, errands and commitments—and that means more time spent on sedentary activities, and less time dedicated to healthy, active pursuits. Feel like you’re looking down the barrel of three long, dark months indoors? Here are five fun, easy ways to make staying fit a family affair this winter…regardless of the weather.

1. Keep up with the Joneses.

Studies show that having a workout partner to keep you accountable can literally double your performance. So why not apply that principle to family workouts by inviting another family along for the ride? Schedule a weekly “kids vs. adults” soccer or broom ball game at a local school’s playing fields; it’s the kind of workout that just gets more fun (and intense) the worse the weather gets. If it’s snowy, create a winter-weather field day on any flat surface by having the kids race one another while pulling a friend on a sled or saucer. 

2. Sleigh your weekend workouts.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a place with robust seasons, you already know what it’s like to bundle even just yourself up for an hour or so outside—let alone getting long johns, snow suits and mittens on your little ones. However, let this fact percolate for a second: a 150-pound adult burns an average of 468 calories during an hour of sledding…and that’s not even accounting for the bundles of joy you’re hauling up the hill!

3. Go for pre-dinner family walks.

Yes, we know it basically takes sorcery to get the whole family out the door in one piece—and we’re already applauding those of you with toddlers and infants in the mix. Dinner is often the one time of day families are together, so it’s the perfect time to plan an activity that includes everyone.

We recommend going right before dinner is served; pop the food in a warm oven, and head out for a quick 15-minute neighborhood exploration. Getting outside for a burst of brisk activity before dinner will not only stoke metabolic fires (and appetites)…it will leave after-dinner time for baths and wind-down activities.

4. Put the Wii in weeknight routines.

All families struggle with managing their kids’ screen time—but what happens when screen time is family time? Many games on Wii and similar platforms are very efficient calorie burners, while also lending themselves to family fun. So push those coffee tables into a corner…things are about to get sweaty!

For families, we recommend any of the Just Dance or Dance Dance Revolution iterations, Punch-Out (which can be done with or without a balance board), Active Life: Outdoor Challenge (which has a two-player function) and Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip (which requires a balance board). All of these games deliver great cardio workouts; however, if your kids are under six, the dance games are your best bet.

5. Pool your Poynts for family fitness gear.

Since you’re already earning Poynts for making healthy choices, it’s time to create a Clique and start pooling those Poynts with a family member for some fun winter fitness gear! Whether you’re picking up cozy base layers at Target or fitness props from Gaiam, Carepoynt offers hundreds of ways to earn, redeem and pool your Poynts for healthy, happy winter.

Tim Stanley