6 Ways to Keep Your Teen Active this Winter

The winter months come with a number of challenges from the shorter days to the frigid temperatures. While hunkering down inside and sitting on the couch might sound ideal, it’s important to get up and get fit. For teenagers getting up and active is very important. 

It’s recommended that teens get one hour of physical activity each day, and an increased physical fitness activity level is recommended a couple days a week. However, the American Heart Association statistics show that only 25% of teens are getting that recommended daily hour of physical activity. 

Screening for physical activity

The biggest suspected cause is probably no real surprise — technology. In previous years, teens would spend free time playing outside with friends. However, screen time is ever increasing in adolescents. With laptops, tablets and cell phones, teens have a lot of entertainment options literally at their fingertips. 

Although it can be difficult for some teens to break away from their screens, it’s really important that they do take that break and get physically active. Teens who are physically fit are less likely to be overweight which means they are often less likely to suffer from diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease. Daily exercise also ensures strong bones and muscles. 

It’s not just a teen’s physical well-being that benefits from daily exercise; regular physical activity also has a significant effect on mental health. Children’s Hospital Colorado explained in a recent article that rates of depression and anxiety in teens have increased in recent years. However,  exercising on a daily basis can help because certain bio-chemicals like serotonin, stress hormones and endorphins change when exercise occurs. These feel-good chemicals affect a teen’s mood for the better. 

As many parents probably know, it can be difficult to get teens to do something if they don’t want to do it. So while it might always be tough to get your teen up and moving, it can be even more difficult during the winter months. 

To help you out, we rounded up some suggestions on ways that teens can get more physically active while it’s cold outside.


This might not be a favorite choice for most teens as most people would agree that shoveling isn’t much fun. But shoveling is definitely good exercise. And there are many elderly people in Northwest Ohio who could certainly benefit from a younger person coming to help shovel their drive. So whether your teen might use this as an entrepreneurial opportunity or just a great way to volunteer, shoveling is certainly a way to get exercise and help the neighbors. 


The YMCA of Greater Toledo has many locations in the area, and they offer lots of fun opportunities for teens such as basketball courts, swimming pools and even various fitness classes. 

Ice Skating

One of the perks of living in Northwest Ohio in the cold winter months is the chance to go ice skating. Ottawa Park has an open air ice rink during the winter. Many Metroparks in the area have outside ice skating opportunities, specifically Glass City Metropark’s new feature, The Ribbon. For year round fun, there are also indoor skating rinks with open skate times, including Sylvania’s Tam-O-Shanter and the Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green. 

Trampoline Parks

There are multiple trampoline parks in the area including Urban Air Adventure Park in Toledo, Sky Zone in Holland and Get Air Trampoline Park in Toledo. Each park not only offers trampolines, but also other attractions such as dodgeball games, Ninja Warrior courses, basketball and more. Most teens would find this a fun way to spend an afternoon, and they probably won’t even realize they’re also exercising! 

Toledo Metroparks

Northwest Ohio has some pretty incredible parks. The Toledo Metroparks offer lots of fun winter activities for all ages, and often the activities are free or low cost. But even if your teen isn’t interested in participating in a scheduled event, the Metroparks are a great place to bundle up in layers and go for a walk. Hike with your teen and enjoy some quality time for conversation. If it’s super snowy, get out that sled and enjoy some of the awesome sledding spots our Metroparks have to offer. 

Climbing gyms

Rock climbing can be a fun hobby that teens can continue throughout adulthood. Climbing gyms such as Adventus Climbing and Climb Toledo are both great places to cultivate a love of climbing. This exercise will challenge your teen as they have fun along the way. 

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