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, April 27, the Greater Pittston YMCA is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day with a free community event to get more families moving, learning and living healthier. Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y, takes place at 1,900 Ys and features fun, educational activities.
The Greater Pittston YMCA will have the following events take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: 10 a.m. Family 2K Fun Run (Sponsored by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania) 10:30 a.m. Family Obstacle Course 11:30 a.m. Kids Zumba and Hip Hop 12 p.m. Pitching Clinic 12:30 p.m. Dive-In Movie in the Pool 1-2 p.m. Open Swim.
Also available throughout the day: Bounce Houses, Arts and Crafts, Healthy Cooking Demonstrations, Healthy Snacks, a DJ and much more.
Local vendors include: Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, Walgreens, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties Early Intervention, Allied Services, New York Life, City of Pittston Ambulance Association, HKQ Kids, Advocare, West Pittston and Pittston Libraries, and Cedar BMX.
”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 Craig Lukatch, CEO, Greater Pittston 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.”
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. The YMCA says the 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 pizzazz 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.
The Greater Pittston YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event takes place at YMCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact Lukcath at 570-655-2255 ext.101 or visit www.greaterpittstonymca.org.