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Inviting kids to exercise the mind and body

April 23, 2014

Participants in the YMCA’s 2013 Healthy Kids Day place balls onto a giant tarp as part of a game. This year’s event will take place Saturday (Wapakoneta Daily News/File).

This Saturday the Wapakoneta Family YMCA is participating in the Y’s national movement of encouraging kids to keep their minds and bodies healthy by holding the free event, Healthy Kids Day.

According to a news release from the Wapakoneta Family YMCA, Healthy Kids Day is celebrated at nearly 1,600 Y’s across the country. It is an fun, educational event to help get kids learning and moving aimed at maintaining those characteristics throughout the summer months.

Senior Program Director at the Wapakoneta Family YMCA, Sarah Finkelmeier, explained that their goal is to offer kids and families new habits that will continue on into adulthood.

“One in three U.S. children is obese. This statistic, coupled with the fact that once summer hits, children will be more idle, demonstrates why it’s important to help families develop healthy habits now,” Finkelmeier said. “As part of the Y’s commitment to healthy living, through YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day our goal is to improve the health and well-being of kids and inspire habits they can continue into adulthood.”

Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year Finkelmeier said.

“During the school year, children are supervised, used to eating at specific times and getting physical exercise at least a few times a week,” she said. “When summer arrives many children don’t have the adult supervision and structure they had at school.”

Finkelmeier went on to say there are more unlimited opportunities to eat and little or no scheduled exercise time.

“Structured summer programs, such as YMCA Day Camp, not only engage children’s minds and help them develop friendships, but keep them active during the summer months.”

From 10 a.m. to noon, the Y will feature a myriad of activities including martial arts, Joy Jingles the balloon artist, unicycle juggler, minute to win it games, Dinosaur Bounce House, dodge ball, swimming, aerobics, kid-friendly booths and more.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, April 23 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.

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