by Anita Nichols

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Let’s face it, we all dread saying goodbye to summer. No more family beach trips, walks along the foreshore, balmy summer nights.

The cooler months have arrived and you may instinctively want to go into hibernation, curl up on the sofa and binge watch all your favourite series. I beg you to get active with the family and take advantage of the many winter activity possibilities.

Here are my 5 top tips to keep active this winter with your family.

1. Change your mindset – embrace the cold

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I don’t believe that people don’t want to exercise just because it’s winter. I just think that our minds get the better of us and the thought of keeping active in the cold becomes an impossible task.

Changing our mindset to believe that keeping active in winter actually has enormous benefits on our health and well being can help get us get back into the right frame of mind and achieving our fitness goals faster. Rug up and get moving.

2. Set some goals

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A great way to help you get moving over Winter is to sit down as a family and set some fun fitness goals. This will not only ensure quality time together but will also keep you all accountable. Setting goals together will help you stay motivated and encourage you to help each other out when the going gets tough.

Some great ideas for family goals over winter include:

  • Commit to an event. It can be a running event, (there are so many great runs out there, we are spoilt for choice), a walking event, an obstacle race event
  • If events are not your thing, set a goal to achieve a certain amount of steps together. Pedometers or a great way of tracking your steps and there are a variety of smart watches available that will also track this.
  • Join a parkrun and set a goal to complete a certain number of them over Winter. parkrun is family friendly and 100% FREE. You can walk, jog, run. It’s up to you. Head over to parkrun Australia’s website for more details.

3. Hit the local pool

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When it’s cold and dark outside, one of the warmest places you can go is your local indoor heated pool. Take the kids for a dip or enrol them in some swimming lessons. Water games like Marco Polo are also fun and healthy and can help build children’s confidence in the water. Just be sure to pack a towel and some warm clothes so you can all rug up before heading back out into the cold.

4. Get on your bike

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Most major cities now offer bikes for hire at a nominal cost (some are even free). Map out some rides that you can do as a family and go for a long bike ride. Split up your ride by stopping for lunch at the half way mark.

Cycling is great way to keep active, take in the stunning surroundings whilst spending quality time together.

5. Take a hike

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Hiking is one of my favourite activities and a great way to get connected with nature. Choose your destination carefully and make sure it’s not too technical for the littlies.  Layer up and get set for a great day out.

The key to having an enjoyable day out hiking with the family is to keep it fun. There are lots of things to touch, see, smell. Take your time and take it all in.

Play games along the way as this will pass the time for the kids that find longer hikes challenging.

Be sure to pack plenty of snacks and water. There will be a few hungry mouths after all that walking.

So there you have it, some great tips on keeping active over winter with the family. What do you and your family like to do to keep active?