Event encourages kids and families to lead healthier lives by staying active and keep learning all summer long
NEW YORK, NY /PRNEWSWIRE/ — On Saturday, April 21, YMCA’s across New York City will hold free community events to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.
The day-long event at all 22 YMCAs in New York City features games, cooking demonstrations, and arts and crafts to motivate families to develop and maintain healthy routines at home in the summer months. Click here to find an event near you.
For more than 165 years, the YMCA has worked with children, families, and community leaders to help New Yorkers lead healthier lives. In 2017, 314,000 people improved their health at the YMCA, and 59,000 youth developed healthy habits in Y programs, such as swimming, youth sports, child care, afterschool, summer camp, and more.
High-quality YMCA programs and services like these help address the urgent health problems facing New Yorkers, including diabetes and obesity. In New York City, 50 percent of adults and 27 percent of youth are overweight or obese. Thirty percent of adults and 40 percent of people 65+ have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
“Healthy Kids Day gives us an opportunity to encourage families to stay active and keep learning during the summer months,” said Sharon Greenberger, President & CEO of New York City’s YMCA. “We’re here to encourage families to try new, healthy activities as they gear up for summer.”
When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 Ys across the country by over 1.2 million participants, is a reminder to keep children active. The Y helps families focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.
Keeping Kids Healthy All Summer Long
In celebration of the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:
- 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.
- Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
- Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
- Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
- 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.
About New York City’s YMCA
New York City’s YMCA is here for all New Yorkers — to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. Founded in 1852, today the Y serves a diverse population of more than half a million New Yorkers who learn, grow, and thrive through programs and services at our 24 branches. Community is the cornerstone of the Y. Together, we connect active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ymcanyc.
The YMCA provides membership assistance and scholarships to programs like summer camp, child care, and teen activities, so that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Visit ymcanyc.org to learn more.