May Is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of
living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood
pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. We all need to be
physically active, but our children especially need to establish healthy
lifestyles while they are young.VBS-Thursday-July15--014

Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression. More than a third of all children and adolescents are overweight, up from only 5% 30 years ago.

One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve
the diet and exercise habits of your entire family. Treating and preventing
childhood obesity helps protect the health of your child now and in the future.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that
adults: Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity
each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing,
swimming, and mowing grass with a push mower. Do muscle-
strengthening activities – like lifting weights or using exercise bands or
machines at the Y– at least 2 days a week. Any activity is better than
none. Start with small steps and work yourself up. Before you begin
any new physical program it is good to talk to your doctor.

We are blessed to have a wonderful and comprehensive YMCA as
our next door neighbor and partner in ministry. The YMCA offers
something for everyone to celebrate this month! We have classes for
children from 6 months and up, sports teams for adults and youth and a
staff who can help provide orientations to our equipment and classes for
adults, personal trainers who can help you meet your fitness goals and a
variety of programs that are designed to accommodate any fitness
level. For more information, please contact Jen Fuller-Allen at
jen(at)lexingtonymca.com or 249-2177.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in children and adolescents over the past 30 years. Over 30% of children are overweight which poses  greater risks for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and some cancers. The J. Smith Young YMCA wants families to know the dangers of childhood obesity and ways to reverse course through increased physical activity and improved eating habits. Here are five important actions:
• Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice (supplemented by age appropriate
portions of 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and make it easy for everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options. Feel free to mix and match fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables to provide variety.
• Play Every Day/Go Outside: Kids should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity.
• Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible with kids involved in meal preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
• Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours per day.
• Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule ten to twelve hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.

Please contact Jen Fuller-Allen at jen@lexingtonymca.com or 249-2177 for more information about programs that can benefit your family.

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