Keeping Kids’ Minds and Bodies Active

Story and Photos provided by Stillwater Family YMCA

Today, according to Trust for America’s Health, 17% percent of youth ages 10-17 years old in Oklahoma are overweight or obese. In addition, over 428,900 Oklahomans have diabetes, including 123,500 who are undiagnosed.   Furthermore, when the school year ends, the physical and educational health of many kids gets worse.

To kick-start physical activity and learning now and throughout the summer – a critical out-of-school time for kids – on Saturday, April 30, the Stillwater Family 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 a 5k fun run, games, face painting, arts and crafts, fitness stations, food and more to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.   Also in attendance will be OSU student-athletes, coaches, radio personalities, and mascots just to name a few.   

“The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, fitness, and a place for kids to hang out. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home,” said Autumn Duffie, Marketing Director of the Stillwater YMCA. “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, 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.

The Stillwater Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event takes place at Boomer Lake from 9 am – noon. For more information, contact Autumn Duffie at 405-372-5833 or visit www.stillwaterymca.org.