Snow Bound!

The snow keeps coming down and piling up on the roads. The kids are jumping up and down in their jammies with excitement. It's a snow day--no school! Great for the kids, but a reader wants to know how she can survive with her healthy living plans. Her kids like to munch snack foods all day long, and she can't get to her gym for her regular workout class.

I remember these days well! Let's first take a look at the way you can get some activity in even though it isn't your normal routine. Sometimes, life just hits, and we all have to learn to roll with it and adjust as we can.

Exercise Possibilities on a Snow Day
  • Shovel the driveway--this burn lots of calories. Be sure to bend your knees as you lift that shovel. Turn toward the load and try not to twist your back. Warm up first, cool down and do a good stretching routine afterward. This is a real workout!
  • Make snow angels or snow men with the kids--have fun in the snow!
  • Get on the WII Fit or one of the active games with the kids. This is great fun. Come on, it's not just popular with the kids, but even senior centers and physical therapists are using it. You can, too!
  • Put on some music and just dance, or take turns calling out what exercise you are going to do next, "everyone, do 12 jumping jacks..." When my boys were little, we had an album (yes, and old-fashioned LP vinyl record...still have it!) called Mousercise. Mickey led us through great workouts with his cute little voice and we just followed the colored pictures in the book. Lots of fun for all of us!
  • Make a big chart and record all the exercises you want to accomplish that day--ones that use only the equipment you have at home, or none at all. Things like 25 ab scrunches, 15 wall push-ups, 10 times up and down the stairs. Put a sticker or colored marker check on the chart when you've done that one. Make a game of it and have the kids do their own, too. When everyone gets their charts done, it's time for a board game or watching a movie together.
  • Wear your pedometer and try to see how many steps you can accumulate just moving around the house and playing in the snow today.
  • Walk the dog in the snow...great workout for your legs, and the dog loves it!
For the snack attacks, try to provide healthy nibbles for everyone:
  • 94% fat-free microwave popcorn
  • cocoa made with skim milk, add a few mini-marshmallows
  • whole grain crackers and low fat string cheese sticks
  • baby carrots and cucumber slices with lowfat ranch dressing
  • Sun Chips and hummus
  • Spritzers: 1/2 orange juice or any 100% fruit juice and 1/2 club soda or sparkling water
  • If you do make cookies together, remember to have something healthy for every cookie you eat: If You Give Yourself A Cookie, Don't Forget The Milk.
Make sure to promise yourself that when you choose to have a snack, that you will SIT DOWN and enjoy the snack...and chew! No snacking while doing other things. Make having that snack a special activity all its own. This helps you to realize you are eating and helps you truly enjoy the food.

Yes, you can survive these snow days. It takes a little bit of creative thinking sometimes, so be willing to be flexible in your approach and keep a positive attitude! Fire up! You can do it!