The end of the school year is a joyous time for kids. But for parents, it presents new challenges as we search for ways to keep them safe, healthy and active.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that elementary-age children get at least 30, and preferably 60, minutes of physical activity five or more days a week. This should include at least 10 to 15 minutes of vigorous, aerobic activity every day, such as fast-paced walking, running, jumping rope or active swimming. An activity designed to strengthen muscles and build bones should also be included.
One of the simplest ways to ensure your child gets the exercise they need is to incorporate it into your family’s normal activities. If you’re a walker, runner or bicyclist, take the kids along. Participating in a 5K? Many races welcome children too!
If you swim or work out at the Y, have them join you. Plan family expeditions that involve activities such as Frisbee® golf, rock climbing, basketball or hiking. There’s no better way to teach kids how to be active and physically fit than by modeling healthy behavior!
And don’t forget trips to the playground, where kids can climb slides, swing on swings, push merry-go-rounds and climb on jungle gyms.
For older kids, there’s always the opportunity to blend exercise and earning by mowing the lawn, helping out in the garden, painting, cleaning the house (try vacuuming to music, dancing while folding laundry) and so on.
Physical activity pays dividends far into the future. It’s been shown to boost learning, give children skills that they can use into adulthood (and beyond) and:
• Build self-confidence and self esteem
• Reduce anxiety and stress
• Help weight control
• Improve strength and endurance
• Build strong bones and muscles
• Improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels
• Provide a positive outlet for youthful energy
• Improve sleep
• Teach responsibility and time-management
There’s something for the entire family at the YMCA of Central Kentucky!
The YMCA of Central Kentucky offers programs throughout the summer that help keep kids active, thinking and engaged. Whether it’s day camps, or specialty camps where they can focus on a skill or interest, the Y can help make this summer the most fun yet.
The YMCA of Central Kentucky also offers youth programs in sports skills, swimming, martial arts and more. For more information about programs that can keep your entire family active at the Y, stop by the Member Services desk, or visit our website at ymcacky.org.
YMCA of Central Kentucky Locations:
C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA
3251 Beaumont Centre Circle
Lexington, KY 40513
High Street YMCA
239 East High Street
Lexington, KY 40507
North Lexington Family YMCA
381 West Loudon Avenue
Lexington, KY 40508
Whitaker Family YMCA
2681 Old Rosebud Road
Lexington, KY 40509