Top Ten Family Winter Workout Ideas

Jill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS

It may be cold outside, but it really is nice and warm once you get moving, distracted by a fun winter activity you can enjoy with your whole family! So here are some novel tips and friendly reminders that make getting into all those layers worth it on a sunny (or snowy) winter day!

10. Sledding: have you forgotten how much fun it can be? Drive to the perfect size hill for your family, and re-live your childhood. All that fun will make you forget how much work it is to get back up that hill twenty, or thirty, times in a row!

9. Snowshoeing: don’t worry if you don’t own a pair- you can rent them at any good snow-shoeing park. It’s the perfect activity that gives you a great work-out AND still allows you to hear the whispers of soft, whispering snowflakes wandering on a breeze.

Snowball Fight

8. Ice skating: whether figure skates or hockey skates, everyone should try it, and trust me, it will work muscles you never knew you had as your effort keeps you warm and toasty!

7. Snowball fight: need I say more? Take it easy on the little ones, though!

6. Cross country skiing: not a novel idea, I know. But if you haven’t tried it lately, it’s worth another shot. If the classical style doesn’t suit your fancy, skating skies just might allow you to enjoy the woods and get your workout in!

5. Build a fort along with that snowman: you’d be surprised how much effort it takes to move that snow and pack it tight enough to make your kids proud! Oh, and don’t forget snow angels!


4. Hit the slopes: even if it’s just tubing, or if you’re brave enough to try snowboarding or downhill skiing with the kids, what better way to introduce your kids to the fun that is wintertime?

3. Horseback riding: it’s not limited to just warm weather!

2. Take a hike in the woods: a little cold will inspire an extra skip in your step, while you may be obliged to pause every now and then to help your kids investigate the neat variety of wildlife tracks in the snow.

1. Play broomball: Broomball is NOT curling, which is a common misconception. And yes, I may be very biased here, but it’s as fun as hockey, without the need for any skating ability. And even I work up enough of a sweat to enjoy every second of the sport, whether at an indoor ice rink or out!