NEWBERRY — Busy schedules and life’s daily demands can make it difficult for parents to ensure that their children are practicing healthy habits on a regular basis.
According to the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot – a survey of parents that gauges their children’s activity levels during the school year – less than 20 percent of the nation’s children get 60 minutes of physical activity, read books for fun, and eat at least eight fruits and vegetables every day.
On Saturday, the Newberry County Family YMCA, 8220 Jollystreet Road, is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day with a free community event to get more families moving, learning and living healthier.The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon.
Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y, takes place at 1,900 Y’s and features fun, educational activities such as fun relays, a “Splash and Dash” race, reading station, arts and crafts, inflatables and Zumba and Line dancing for the whole family.
“At YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, we are focusing on health and education to ensure fewer children are at an increased risk for childhood obesity and more children succeed in school,” said Eric Nelson, CEO of the Newberry County Family YMCA. “But it’s not just a single day of fun, active play and learning – it’s a kick off to helping parents get a jump on creating a healthier summer.”
The Newberry YMCA will have registration and information available for their summer camp. The registration fee is $50 for camp but on Healthy Kid’s Day the fee will only be $25.
The Y will also offers new membership with no joiner’s fee on Saturday.
During summer, many children lose exposure to out-of-school activities that keep their minds and bodies active, leaving them at risk of falling behind academically and gaining weight twice as fast as they would during the school year. Following are five ideas for activities families can begin doing now and throughout summer to stay healthy:.
— Begin planning now for summer activities. Check with the Y or the local parks and recreation for opportunities with day or resident camp, swimming, arts and crafts, or sports.
— Start a book series and read together each night as a family. Reading at night keeps the brain buzzing and young minds active.
— Drink water. Have fun with flavor, give it some pizazz with a slice of lemon, lime, orange or even cucumber.
— Take a walking staycation. Map out a new neighborhood or hiking trail in your area and get your family to explore on foot. It’s a great way to make Saturday a healthy, active start to the weekend.
— Next time you get “I’m bored!” give your kids a jump rope. It’s an awesome way to have fun and keep moving. They can go solo, or get others in on the fun.
— Start a “Words I Want to Know” notebook for the entire family. When there is an unfamiliar word, write it down, look it up, and add it to the family’s vocabulary. You can even keep track of these on the refrigerator.
For more information, contact Senior Program Director Pam Lister at 803-276-9936 or visit newberryymca.org.