Let's be honest. Most teenagers aren't going to spend winter days off of school going to the gym for two hours every day. At least for me, my first desire is to sit all bundled up on my couch and play some video games.
The country may be in a panic about childhood obesity but with the freezing temperatures in January and beyond, and snow -- or currently the lack of -- outside, how in the world could we be active?
Team up. Truth is, I'm not a very sporty girl. I can play them but not very good. So my first idea for staying active during the cold-weather months would not apply to me: Join a school sports team. There are quite a few winter sports going on at school -- girls and boys basketball, swimming, wrestling and more. Being involved in school sports is not just a way to keep you off the couch and on your feet, it also helps you stay involved in school student activities, and it's a great way to make friends.
Jump into a class. Even if you aren't on a team you can always take fitness classes. My school offers many of them and it also offers the weight room after school for students who want to work out some more. So ask the coaches, they'll always be happy to help.
Explore other options. So if sports aren't your forte, what else is there to do? How I personally am staying active this winter is in color guard. This is the team that spins flags and rifles. What I mean from this is it is not always athletic teams that are a way to stay active. Also, sometimes what a person needs for activity isn't jogging around and shooting hoops for hours. I like to always tell people I've done more running in stage crew than I have done all in all of my "Fit for Life" class, and it's true.
Check out the unexpected classes. See what they offer in terms of activity, and remember, the most important part of schooling is be involved. You can always be the kid that just sits back in the corner in the gym class and gets by, but you have to make the choice to use what you have been given.
Get outdoors. You don't have to be on a team to exercise. The great thing about wintertime is the ultimate childhood memory, snowball fights. You can never be too old to get some friends together, bundle up and build your forts against the soon-to-be friendly fire.
However, it's not just snowball fights that you could do. Just anything out of the house would work, and if you can't figure out exactly what to do, think back to recess in elementary school. Build a giant snowman and make some snow angels. Build a snow den, stock it with some snacks and battle friends in a winner-takes-all contest.
Move it, move it. Simple walks around your neighborhood can always get the blood pumpin'. Or if the weather's bad and you can't get out, then jog around the inside of your house; you don't always need a fitness video to get you off the couch. Even taking those stairs repetitively is great and you can pop on your favorite movie to watch as you do that.
Or why not clean the house while listening to music? Lugging a 20-pound vacuum around a room can not only build muscle but make your parents happy.
Eat healthy. Part of being fit is watching what you eat. Just say "enough" before you slip into the food coma and ride in the gravy boat. Remember as "they" always say -- and who "they" are beats me -- "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips." Yet even if you did sneak a little more pumpkin pie than you know you should have during the holidays, it's OK. Don't beat yourself up over it.
So even if you don't own a single pair of exercise clothes you can always up your activity in life. Go shop in the mall, take your time and walk around. Or turn on that Wii Fit and actually play it.
Sara Bowker is a junior at Northridge High School. She enjoys dance, theater and stage crew. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.