Don’t Let the Cold Slow You Down

Alicia and Vada 2

Alicia Fedewa with her children Eric, 1, and Vada, 4

How to Keep Your Family Active During Winter Months

Lexington mother Alicia Fedewa adjusts her family’s activity during the winter months only slightly.
She insists on taking her 4-year-old daughter Vada outside daily no matter the weather.
So weekend walks at the arboretum are a year-round pursuit.
Alicia also brings Vada to work with her at UK every day, traveling the 1.5 mile trip by foot or by bicycle.
Yup, Vada has been riding a bike to work since she was 3. At first, she used a glider but when she turned 4, she taught herself to ride a bike and off she goes every morning with mom.
“Yes, people are surprised and ask, ‘Can she really walk that far?’” Alicia said. “But this is what she is used to do and she does fine.”
In January and February, Alicia also works in trips for Vada and her 1-year-old brother Eric to local indoor playgrounds like Monkey Joe’s and Kids Place.
It’s all about keeping active.
“We intentionally moved to be close to work so we could walk and bike every day,” she said.
“It’s good to create these habits when our kids are young. Plus all the research shows that there is a connection between physical activity and well-being.”
Alicia, an associate professor of psychology at UK, is a member of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition. Tweens Chairperson Anita Courtney offered the following tips to help keep your family moving no matter how low the temperature drops:
Embrace the cold
Be active at home
Join a gym or recreational facility.
Embrace the cold!
• Find a winter activity that your family enjoys: hiking, skating, skiing, disc golf and even camping.
• Check out the book Hike the Bluegrass: Your Guide to Hiking, Walking and Strolling Across Central Kentucky by Valerie Askren. There are some hidden gems to explore.
• Bundle up. Coats, hats, gloves, socks and scarves designed for cold weather can make a world of difference in how much you enjoy being outdoors in winter months.
• The body acclimates. The more you spend time in the cold, in most cases, the more comfortable you will become.
You may even find cold temperatures invigorating over time.
• Depending on the age of your kids, make it a goal to visit every park in Lexington with a playground throughout the winter months.
Keep a notebook and write comments about each one so you know which parks to revisit.
For more details, visit

Be active at home
• Have some active things around your home for kids to play inside – foam balls and bats, hula hoops, jump ropes, ping pong table, etc.
Keep them in view and easily accessible so kids will be more likely to use them.
• Consider getting a Wii Fit or workout DVDs.
• Search the web for free online fitness classes (Zumba, yoga, circuit training) or get a subscription to a class series.
The web site has free, fun workouts for kids.
• Create some family traditions. Do an online Zumba class every night after dinner, do yoga with your kids before bed, take turns making playlists for a 20- minute dance party.
• Check out the Move More tab on the We Can KY!
Join a Gym or Recreational Facility
• The YMCA has scholarships for families who can’t afford a membership.
• Agree upon a schedule for going to the gym – shoot for at least three times a week. If you sign up for a team or classes, go to them!
• At a variety of recreational facilities in Lexington, children and adults can sign up for indoor sports teams – volleyball, soccer, basketball, hockey, swim teams, karate and martial arts.
• Join a climbing gym. Kids and parents can do this together.
Just be ready for your kids being way better at it than you are.
• Contra dancing can be a fun family activity. Contra dances are held the first Saturday of every month at 8 p.m. at Arts Place. Beginners welcome.