YMCA looks to reduce childhood obesity with Healthy Kids Day

Wellness experts say in order to develop healthy habits, it’s important for kids to kick the bad ones first. And for Rapid City mother Terrie Crawford that means starting with the snacks.

“You don’t want to completely eliminate it but make it a treat and let them know it’s okay to have it once in a while,” said Terrie Crawford, mother of two. “But not all the time because then it becomes a bad habit.”

Bad habits are contributing to obesity in more and more American children. One in every 5 kids in the United States is obese and two – thirds will remain overweight through adulthood. That’s why health experts say an active lifestyle is necessary for a healthy one.

“It’s really about getting kids and parents out to enjoy physical activity and have fun together,” said Jodi Thomas, Associate Wellness Director at the YMCA. “We just want to bring fun back into fitness and get them outside.”

YMCA’s across the country and in rapid city work to jump that hurdle as part of national healthy kids day. Both young and old spend the day having fun through physical activities.

“Healthy kids day is aimed at teaching kids healthy habits and helping develop a life long love for fitness” said Thomas.

There were bike riding, hula – hooping, and jump roping stations to get everyone moving. And after the workout instead of reaching for a bag of chips the kids grabbed pretzels, and nuts.

Mom’s like Terrie Crawford say the event helps give them new ideas while also reinforcing the lessons they’re teaching at home.

“We try to do activities in the house.  We play our Wii, play bowling and stuff on the Wii, we try to keep it exciting and fun,” said Crawford.

Fun which can put your kids on track for good health without them even knowing it. Thomas says it’s especially important to keep up with physical activities during the winter months. She suggests creating exercises in your home, or enrolling your children in indoor gym activities, such as swimming lessons or fitness classes.

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