Learning Healthy Habits Early

By: Jessica Aspiras Email
By: Jessica Aspiras Email

Nearly 25 tiny bundles of energy climbed, crawled, and ran their way around the kids gym at Oak Park YMCA.

"Getting kids out and being active and learning what it is to be healthy is more important than ever," explains Ben Wheeler of Oak Park.

According to the Centers for Disease Control one-third of the country's children are overweight or obese.

"If kids start when they're young, being active and moving around a lot and participate in activities, they continue that lifestyle as they get older," he says.

But the exact opposite holds true for those children who live a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a diet high in calories.

"We know that that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, can lead to earlier heart disease, leads to orthopedic problems as far as joint problems," explains Dr. Rachel Christensen of MSU Pediatrics.

Saturday YMCA's across the country will play host to National Healthy Kids Day in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

"We've got different games and activities and all the different raquetball courts. We have as well as the gym, we've got our kids gym room available. We've got crafts going on. We've got healthy snacks," says Wheeler.

The important thing to remember is physical activity is key, no matter what kind it is.

"It's a lifestyle. It is being healthy. It's not just something people do occasionally," he says.

And the earlier it starts, the better.

National Healthy Kids Day is free and open to the public. It's scheduled for Saturday, April 14th from 10am-1pm.

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