Today, according to The American Heart Association website, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. In addition, obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression. And excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood. Furthermore, when the school year ends, the physical and educational health of many kids worsens.
To kick-start physical activity and learning now and throughout the summer – a critical out-of-school time for kids – on Saturday, April 25, the Lake Nona YMCA is celebrating Healthy Kids Day® with a free community event for kids and families. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, features activities such as group exercise class demonstrations, games, healthy eating activities, and arts and crafts to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home. In addition, local vendors and businesses from the community will be on-site to provide resources and activities for youth and families.
The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, gymnastics, and a place for kids to hang out. At the Lake Nona YMCA, we support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home. We know that it can sometimes feel like a challenge. So at Healthy Kids Day, we’ll encourage kids to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long, and give families tips they can easily replicate at home. It’s free and open to everyone in the community.
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
- Try, try, repeat – There are many great-tasting fruits and vegetables that many kids have never heard of, let alone tried. Grab a new fruit or vegetable and encourage everyone in the family to try at least a bite.
- Play around town – Challenge the family to play on a different playground every week. Identify playgrounds at a variety of parks; expand definitions of playgrounds to include nature trails, a nearby stream, and a bike path.
- Families at play for an hour a day – From walking to gardening, swimming to shooting hoops, make playful movement a part of your family’s day. To get 60 minutes of moderate activity throughout your day just add 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there.
- Foster a passion for reading – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
- Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
The Lake Nona YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event takes place at 9055 Northlake Parkway Orlando, FL from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.