Keeping Kids' Minds and Bodies Active

12 April 2013

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. The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is committed to making healthy eating and physical activity a priority for all of the families that we serve.

On Saturday, April 27, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads is celebrating YMCA 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 such as family exercise classes, aquatic activities, healthy snacks, and vendors from the local community.

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 your local Y 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 Healthy Kids Day event takes place at all YMCA of South Hampton Roads locations from 9am-12pm* on Saturday, April 27. For more information, contact Lauren Rowe at 757-546-9622 or

*The Currituck Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day® celebration will be held from 10am-1pm at the Children's Festival at Maple Park in Maple, NC. The Y on Granby, scheduled to open May 31, will celebrate Healthy Kids Day® and host a job fair at the Granby Street site from 1-4pm.