Summer is just around the corner, and with it a break from the hectic routines of the school year.
Sleeping in, watching television or playing video games, and enjoying ice cream before bedtime may sound great to kids, but a summer like this can have lasting negative effects on their health.
Kids are less physically active and engaged in learning during the summer, and research shows that children gain weight two to three times faster than during the school year.
With this in mind, the YMCA of Western North Carolina is hosting its annual Healthy Kids Day® on Saturday, April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations in Hendersonville and Marion.
Healthy Kids Day is a free community event that focuses on improving the health and well-being of local kids and families. The public is invited to the Corpening Memorial Y in Marion and Jackson Park in Hendersonville to enjoy 5k runs, games, healthy snacks, and fun for the whole family.
The Healthy Kids Day initiative is a powerful reminder to encourage children to focus on physical and mental play instead of idling away their summer days. The event is expected to attract 1.2 million participants nationwide.
“At the Y, we believe active and engaged kids really do achieve amazing things, and there are no days off for a child’s developing spirit, mind and body,” said Paul Vest, president and CEO of the YMCA of WNC. “Through our strong presence and reach with children during summer months, Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and engage kids to stay emotionally, intellectually and physically active over the summer.”
In celebration of Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
High five the fruits and veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
Foster an early and ongoing passion for books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
Team up for athletic events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
Volunteer together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
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.
All kids deserve the best summer ever, and Delta is proud to be the national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day, which kicks off a healthy, active and engaged summer for kids throughout the country.
Locally, Healthy Kids Day in Marion is presented by McDowell Hospital with additional sponsorship from Zaxby’s. The Healthy Kids Day in Hendersonville is presented by Pardee–UNC Health Care with additional support from Foot RX Running, Asheville; Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry; and LuLaRoe (Lisa M. Brown).