By Chelsea Cullen Joslyn
On Saturday, April 25, branches of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina are holding free community events to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families, features activities such as games, bounce houses, nutrition information, arts and crafts, and special guest speakers to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.
YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,300 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of-school time for kids’ health. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles – or gaps – that prevent them from reaching their full potential, related to hunger, water safety, learning, safe spaces to play, and health. Each year, the Y helps over 9 million youth nationwide “hop the gap” and achieve more, providing a safe to place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.
“The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, gymnastics and a place for kids to hang out. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home,” said Darryl Head, Senior VP/Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. “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 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, or 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 our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
Davie Family YMCA: Saturday, April 25
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Jerry Long Family YMCA (Clemmons Community Day): Saturday April 25
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Kernersville Family YMCA: Saturday, April 25
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Statesville and Barium Springs Family YMCA: Saturday, April 25
William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA: Saturday, April 25
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Yadkin Family YMCA: Saturday, April 25
8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information, contact visit ymcanwnc.org/healthykidsday or call your local YMCA.
In celebration of the event and spring, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina is also offering a membership joining special now through April 30, 2015. You can join the Y for a $0 joining fee. When you join the Y, you have access to group exercise facilities, pools at most branches, comprehensive wellness facilities, and Child Watch with some membership types, as well as discounts on all Y programs like youth sports and swim lessons, and you’re part of a nonprofit making the community stronger.
*Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC