By Blake Miller, REDBOOK
The recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day for kids still applies in winter. Here's how to get them up off the couch, without yelling, "Get up off the couch!"
1. TOYS! The more choices, the merrier. When researchers at the University at Buffalo gave kids the option of playing with one, three, or five toys that promote movement-think jump ropes, basketballs, and sleds-active time nearly doubled among those with the most choices, compared with kids who had only one. "When you increase food variety, people eat more," says lead researcher Denise Feda, Ph.D. "Same goes for physical activity and toys."
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2. HANG WITH FIT FAMILIES. Children with friends who are active tend to have more physical activity in their lives than those with slacker buds, says a recent study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Read: Skip playdates with the neighbor whose Nintendo DS is glued to his wrist.
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3. MAKE IT EASY TO GET OUT. No kid likes getting bundled up like he's headed to the tundra, so keep it simple. Start with a moisture-wicking fabric like polypropylene instead of a cotton shirt. Then add a fleece, a waterproof jacket, and gloves-because even kids know it's hard to log on to Facebook with frost-bitten fingers.
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