No matter how cold it is outside we have to make sure that our kids get loads of exercise. It not only keeps them fit, of course. It also prevents them from coming down with a nasty case of cabin fever!

There are lots of things that parents can do, despite the wicked winter weather, to keep their children active and involved and as healthy as possible. We all know about indoor sports leagues that our children can join, but there are lots of other options that are low-cost and many that you can do in your own home.

Here are a few:

1. Think outside the playground.

There are lots of indoor play gyms that offer kids a chance to run, climb, play, and sweat. Other places — like MyGym facilitites — offer a series of classes and even offer open play sessions during the week.

2. Make a home gym.

You can easily turn your basement or an empty bedroom in your house into a pseudo-gym. Get some workout videos, a few yoga mats or towels, a few light dumbbells and you're all set. You need to supervise your child (which can provide the added benefit of encouraging your own exercise) and it can become a shared activity that everyone enjoys.

3. Get creative.

There are all sorts of workouts you can encourage your children to try inside the cozy confines of your home — jumping rope, stretching, doing pull-ups, push-ups, etc. You don't need a lot of space or equipment; all you need is the desire.

4. Make it family time.

If you have a gym membership, inquire how much it would cost to add your son or daughter — if they're old enough to work out. It might be an opportunity to introduce them to a workout routine and it might also give you an added push to make working out part of your schedule.

5. Eat healthy.

When your kids are cooped up and bored they probably eat more than normal. Make sure that you have lots of healthy snacks on hand to feed their cravings. Also, encourage them to drink lots of water during the day and during their workout routines.

6. Brave the weather.

When the temperatures do climb slightly make sure you try to get your kids outside. Bicycling, jogging, or playing at the park will warm them up in no time and give them a great workout.

7. Dance!

If all else fails, turn on your favorite music and encourage them to dance for as long and as wildly as they want to.

It's important to remember that one of the keys to staying fit is being disciplined enough to stay true to your plans. Try to set up a schedule for your child to have 30-60 minutes of exercise each day to get a benefit from all the exercise.

As with any physical activity, make sure that your children are healthy enough to participate. If you have any questions or medical concerns, first check with their doctor.