Be an Active Family during the Holidays

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For more information, contact the author – Deb Schroeder (, Extension Educator in Cuming County.

Child Playing in the SnowThe holiday season can be a busy and stressful time for families. Along with those hectic schedules, the cold winter weather can make it challenging for squeezing in some physical activity each day. However, being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults need at least 2½ hours of physical activity a week, and children need 60 minutes a day. Follow these tips to add more activity during the winter months.

  1. Schedule some time for physical activity. Determine time slots throughout the week when most family members available. Devote a few of these times to doing something active.
  2. Turn off the screens. Instead of watching TV or playing video games, create an indoor obstacle course, make a scavenger hunt or play charades. Being active as a family not only creates special memories but helps to relieve holiday stress.
  3. Bundle up for outdoor play. Create a snowman or “snow family”. Climb a snow mountain or make paths through the snow. No snow? Walk around your neighborhood to view lighting displays rather than taking the car.
  4. Don’t ditch the housework. We all have experienced the tiring effects of doing chores. But those chores are a great way to add physical activity and have a clean house – ready for holiday guests. Kids can help vacuum, dust, sweep the floor and even clean the windows!
  5. Treat the family with fun physical activity. Enjoyable experiences such as an afternoon of ice skating or an evening of bowling make great gifts. A membership to the YMCA or recreational club can give your family fun opportunities for physical activity all throughout the year.


  1. Team Nutrition, Let’s Move…Cold Weather Fun!
  2. Eat Right Montana, 5 Ways to Enjoy 10 Minutes of Holiday Fitness Fun
  3. USDA’s Choose MyPlate, Be An Active Family

This article has been peer-reviewed.