January 2013

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live with family Ask Doctor Mom Planning for an active winter Let���s Make a Date When it���s time to get a date night on the calendar, leave the kiddos where they���ll have a blast at activities around town On the east side: Next time date night takes you east, leave your kids to explore the critters at ANIMART near East Towne at their animal-themed movie night for kids on Fridays from 5-8 p.m. If it���s balance beams your future gymnast prefers, Madtown Twisters, (which also has a west-side location), hosts a kids-only open gym on Fridays, 7-10 p.m. and Saturdays, 7-9 p.m. On the west side: When the road winds west, let your kiddos use their outdoor voices while they play at KEVA Sports Center in Middleton, which will offer a parent���s night out Jan. 12 from 6-10 p.m. Or, check with the other west-side hot spots for kids, including Badger Gymnastics Academy on Schroeder Rd.; Blackbird Family Yoga in Middleton; or Infusion Mixed Martial Arts in Mt. Horeb, which often host parents��� night out events on select weekends. Around Fitchburg: When you���re sticking to the south side, Legacy Academy in Fitchburg offers a large indoor play land the first and third Friday of the month, 5-10 p.m. Or leave them at the nearby Pump It Up the first Friday of the month from 6-9 p.m. for a hoppin��� evening of bouncy houses and slides. Also near Fitchburg, Gymfinity holds an open gym on select Saturdays, 4:30-9:30 p.m., while The Little Gym, (which also has a west location), offers ���Parents��� Survival Night��� on select Friday and Saturday evenings. 22 BRAVA Magazine January 2013 Keeping active is difficult year-round, but it is especially challenging during Wisconsin winters. And if you���re trying to keep kids active while staying fit yourself? Easier said than done. But fortunately there are many opportunities in Madison to turn cold days into hours of sweaty fun. First, the basics on why it���s important to not let your motivation to move get buried under the snow: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children get at least one hour of activity daily. Bouts of activity throughout the day are fine. To keep them up and moving, children 2 and over should not have more than two hours of screen time daily���this includes TV, video, computer games and smartphones or tablets. Children under 2 should not have any regular screen time. When the weather allows, simple outside playtime is a great way to keep moving. Take the dog for a walk, make a snowman or fort, or travel to a local park to sled (find plenty of parks to explore at Or, try a new winter activity such as ice-skating, snowshoeing or crosscountry skiing. Whether you���re a novice or an experienced sportsman, you���re guaranteed a good workout and maybe some laughs as well. When the temps get frigid, there are still many ways to stay fit indoors. If you���re fortunate enough to have a gym membership, check out opportunities for youth and grab some gym time for yourself as well. If not, the local mall can offer hallways for walking and many have play areas for younger children. At home, find a room with open space and not too many breakables to hold a pretend exercise class or play an active version of ���Simon Says.��� Or, make TV time more active by leading children in jumping jacks or running in place during commercials. One lesson I���ve learned as a mom is to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities to keep fit. Best of luck to you and your family in staying active this winter! Dr. Houser is a pediatrician with UW Health and mother of one. Photo by Heidi K. Moore Photography By Dr. Laura M. Houser

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