Despite the seemingly infinite health benefits that physical activity provides, most people are not very active.
The latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that just over 20 percent of adults are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity. CDC guidelines recommend at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week, plus muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.
This trend also extends to children – only one in three U.S. children are physically active every day. With the time constraints of work, school and other obligations, planning active time together as a family boosts fitness and models a healthy lifestyle.
Research has shown that unhealthy habits develop in childhood, and the negative consequences of those habits are likely to persist or even worsen in adulthood. Fortunately, healthy habits can be equally influential. In addition to proper nutrition and rest, exercise is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise reduces the risk of obesity and greatly improves a youth’s overall health and wellness into adulthood.
There are several ways for parents to encourage children to take an interest in trying new activities. Setting a positive example by integrating physical activity into the family’s daily routine can spark activity in youth. For example, instead of watching television after dinner, parents can encourage the entire family to go for a walk or play an active game.
Creativity with choosing activities can turn exercise into something enjoyable for all.
A variety of recreational sports opportunities are available within communities. Team sports are a great way for children to get active while having fun, making new friends and forming important cooperation skills.
In addition to promoting physical activity, parents also can support their children’s healthy lifestyles by limiting time in front of the television or computer to no more than one to two hours per day. Parents also should ensure that children get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, and eat balanced meals and healthy snacks.
The CDC recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Those 60 minutes are divided into three different types of activity: aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-
strengthening. Many physical activities involve more than one of these categories, making it possible for children to incorporate all three into their healthy lifestyles. Examples of each type of activity are as follows:
• Bicycle riding
• Running and walking
• Jumping rope
• Many organized or team sports
• Monkey bars
• Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups or sit-ups
• Rope or tree climbing
• Jumping and skipping activities, such as hop-scotch or jumping rope
Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) offers numerous events encouraging physical activity for families, including the upcoming Active•Fit Mini Triathlon, the “For Your Health” 5K Run/Walk, and the Active•Fit Bowling and Field Day events.
Active • Fit Mini Triathlon
Licking Memorial Health Systems and the City of Pataskala Active•Fit Mini-Triathlon will take place on Saturday, June 11, 9:00 a.m., at Municipal Park in Pataskala. The event will include a 2.5K bike ride, 1K run and a 1-lap swim. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. Bike helmets are mandatory. Healthy snacks and beverages will be provided. This event is limited for youth ages 6 to 12 years.
Municipal Park is located at the intersection of Mill Street, Township Road and Creek Road in Pataskala. Registration prior to the Mini-Triathlon will begin at 8:00 a.m. Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are not permitted. To pre-register for the event, please contact the LMHS Public Relations Department at (740) 348-1560.
“For Your Health” 5K Run/Walk and 1-mile Fun Walk & The Active • Fit 1K
The 2016 “For Your Health” 5K Run/Walk and 1-mile Fun Walk will take place on Saturday, July 23 at The Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Road SE in Newark. Participants may choose to run or walk the 5K course, or enjoy the 1-mile Fun Walk. The 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the Fun Walk starts shortly thereafter.
The course wanders through the scenic grounds of The Dawes Arboretum, taking participants through the Deep Woods and past other notable areas, such as the Azalea Glen, the Cypress Swamp, the Japanese Garden, Buckeye 17 and Outlook Tower. Awards will be given to the overall top three male and female finishers in the 5K Run. In addition, the top male and female finishers in each age division will receive awards. Chip Timing Service will be used to determine the finishing times.
The registration fee for runners and walkers with timing chips is $15, if received by 5:00 p.m., on July 15. Participants also may register on the morning of the race, between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m., for $20. There is no fee for the 1-mile Fun Walk; however, registration is required. Registration for both courses may be completed online at www.racepenguin.com.
The 2016 “For Your Health” 5K Run/Walk and 1-mile Fun Walk is sponsored by The Dawes Arboretum, Licking County Family YMCA, the LMH Development Council and Park National Bank. The honorary chairs for the event are Tom, Kate, Emma, John and Megan Cummiskey. For additional information about the event, please call (740) 348-4102.
The Active•Fit 1K event also will take place on July 23 at The Dawes Arboretum for youth ages 6 to 12. This event will begin at 8:00 a.m., prior to the “For Your Health” 5K Run/Walk and 1-mile Fun Walk. Participants must arrive no later than 7:45 a.m. to check in. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. All participants will receive an Active•Fit t-shirt and a water bottle. Healthy snacks and beverages will be provided. Online registration is required by July 15. Please register online at www.racepenguin.com.
Active • Fit Bowling & Field Day Events
Active•Fit Bowling will be held on Wednesday, July, 13 and includes a free two-hour period of bowling at Park Lanes in Heath. Participants can enjoy the open session of bowling – courtesy of Park Lanes, healthy snacks, as well as a “glow bowl.”
Also during July, youth may participate in the Active•Fit Field Day, Tuesday, July 26. This two-hour event includes activity choices such as soccer, flag football, kick ball and freeze tag. At the end of the event, attendees can join in a variety of fun water games. These free events are limited to youth ages 6 to 12 years, but registration is required. Please contact the LMHS Public Relations Department at (740) 348-1560.