OlympicsThe 2014 Winter Olympics officially takes place in Russia in February, but my family has already started our own family Olympics of sorts right here at home. No, we’re not skiing or speed skating. We live in Northern Florida, so that would be kind of hard. Instead we’re doing push-up challenges, timing our planks, and more all in the name of fun!

Although it doesn’t snow where we live, the temperatures do drop during the winter months, and we’re all cooped up in the house. To help us burn some energy and stay physically active during the winter, we recently started doing our own “Winter Olympics” games. Usually they take place on the weekends because it takes about an hour to complete.

Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also a great workout for everyone.

Here’s how we do it.

Planning an Indoor Olympic Challenge

Gather your contestants. Sometimes it’s all five of us, and other times it’s just my 7- and 8-year-old and I. If there is a big disparity in age and capabilities, then we team up. But honestly, my kids are in better shape than I am, so when it’s the three of us, we are on our own teams.

Determine the games for the Olympic challenge. Challenges for us are anything that relates to physical fitness that we can do in the house or around the yard. Sometimes we go to a park as well. Ideas for challenges are push-up contests, lunge contests, sit-up challenges, fastest runner to the stop sign, longest jump, highest jump, furthest on the monkey bars without falling, most leg lifts, etc. Really anything goes!

Sometimes we decide the challenges at the onset of the games; other times we decide a new challenge after one has been completed. When we do it that way, we take turns. Waiting is always fun because each contestant picks a challenge that they are really good at. It then becomes a game of strategy to pick the best challenge based on how everyone is performing. Decide the rules before each challenge begins, including what will disqualify a contestant.

Then, let the games begin! Be ready for a test of physical and mental abilities!