My three kids love playing outside, but they’re not so keen in winter – especially when the ground is getting a soaking or it’s bitterly cold. On those days, getting them to stretch their legs outdoors can feel like an awful lot of hard work.
First, you have to persuade them away from the puzzles/ sticker books/ TV. Then you must corral them into coats, socks and boots, before appeasing tantrums over hats and gloves. Finally, I have to break up fights over who’s going to open the front door first. By the time, we’re ready to go, my nerves are so jangly that I feel ready for a strong cuppa and a sit-down. And we haven’t even made it past the gate.
So how much exercise do children really need in winter?
Children aged between five and 18 years need 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day on most days, according to UK government recommendations – and yes, this is all year round. (Under the age of five, children should be moving almost continuously.)