Winter Months and Movement

Winter Months and Movement

Jennie Marble, Director of Integrated Pediatric Therapies

Many moons ago, during my time studying abroad in Denmark, I interned at a forest preschool. Through the winter months we donned our warm weather gear and headed out to climb trees. I love the Scandinavian phrase, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. The more I’ve learned about the seasonal impact on mood, behavior and cognitive development, the more important I realize it is to incorporate purposeful movement into our kids’ days, especially in the winter.

As the seasons change to the cold and darker months, so to can our summer exercise patterns, sleep patterns, behavior and for some, cognitive function. Less time moving around outside and in the sun during these winter months can have an impact on our bodies, including the production of vitamin D.  By increasing purposeful movement, eating foods high in vitamin D or considering vitamins with your doctor or nutritionist, you can help change the dreary months slump into continued growth and skill gaining.

Foods high in vitamin D include:

  • Salmon
  • Herring and Sardines
  • Cod Liver
  • Canned Tuna
  • Egg Yoks
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified drinks like some milk and orange juice
  • Fortified foods like some cereals and oatmeal

Incorporating movement and exercise helps keep a structure to the day, provides learning opportunities and increases endorphins for natural mood boosters. For outdoor play ideas, check out our blog Fun Activities to Cure Cabin Fever.

Take these winter months as an opportunity to go on snow hikes and explore new foods with your kids. For specific suggestions in helping your kids acclimate to outdoor winter activies or ideas to help them try new foods, talk with your Integrated Pediatric therapist or email us.