SOURCE: The Little Gym International

The Little Gym International

December 06, 2016 14:50 ET

Recent Research Reveals a Seasonal Drop in Children's Physical Activity Levels

The Little Gym offers ideas for fun and physical indoor activities during the winter months

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - December 06, 2016) - A recent study found that, on average, children's activity levels decline from 65.3 minutes a day in spring and summer months to 47.8 minutes a day in winter and fall months. According to the child development specialists at The Little Gym, these findings highlight the importance of parents and caregivers encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle for their children as days grow shorter and opportunities for outdoor play seem limited.

"Our bodies react to colder weather by conserving energy to keep warm," says Ruk Adams, president and CEO of The Little Gym. "It's tempting for children to become less active, snack more, and sink into sedentary pursuits like watching TV or playing video games. Ironically, this lack of activity can make children feel lethargic and less inclined to get up and move. Beyond setting guidelines for TV and electronic gadget use, parents need to be proactive about finding opportunities for their children to stay active throughout the winter."

Depending on where you live, the winter season can offer a variety of fun outdoor activities. However, no matter the location, shorter days and busy schedules limit the opportunity for outdoor play. Adams says that parents should get creative to keep their children moving.

For example:

  • Challenge younger children with an obstacle course created with cushions, blankets and stools. If space permits, add activity stations for jumping jacks, hula hooping, and the like.
  • Satisfy older children's craving for screen time by focusing on interactive video games that provide a workout for more than their thumbs.
  • Check out activity offerings at local parks or visit local museums and science centers.
  • Visit a mall for a scavenger hunt or a game of "I Spy".
  • Join a community swimming pool or go bowling or roller skating.

"Kid-focused activities like The Little Gym can be another great option as they offer age-appropriate programs available after school, on weekends, and even when school is not in session," says Adams. "Whatever approach works best for your family, establishing good habits in children needs to be a year-round priority to lay the foundation for an active, healthy lifestyle as they grow."

The Little Gym gives parents a year-round solution that fits easily into hectic family schedules. In addition, many locations offer Holiday and Winter Camp programs during weeks when school is not in session. Each camp day features a different, creative lesson plan - and parents can sign their kids up for a full week or just a day at a time. Holiday and Winter Camps and Gift Certificates are available at select The Little Gym locations. For more information, please go to www.TheLittleGym.com.

About The Little Gym

The Little Gym is an internationally recognized program that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood. The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. The Little Gym International, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., was formed in 1992 to franchise The Little Gym concept. Today, The Little Gym International has over 300 locations in 30 countries. For more information, visit The Little Gym at www.TheLittleGym.com.

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