Father helps daughter on monkey bars
February 25, 2013

At the Y, we work to play. According to the experts, we're on to something.

The American Heart Association reports that about one in three American kids is overweight or obese. Those statistics have nearly tripled in the last 50 years.

Physicians say putting some play in your day may be the first step toward preventing childhood obesity.

At the YMCA of the Triangle, we incorporate healthy, activities into our all of youth programs. What may look like kids play in a YMCA summer day camp, after school program or tracking out is actually a daily commitment to keeping kids active and healthy. Those fun cheers and dances during our daily assembly burn plenty of energy and calories.

Here are some simple ways you can incorporate those healthy YMCA habits into your home life.

Families at Play for an Hour a Day

Playful movement is one of the keys to a healthier family. It doesn't matter what you choose to do. As long as your arms and legs are moving, it's good for you. Aim for 60 minutes of activity throughout your day. Just add ten minutes here, and fifteen minutes there. It adds up, and it all counts. Have your child teach you the Cupid Shuffle. It's a fun line dance that burns hundreds of calories and plenty of energy. Watch this fun video to see how we do it here at the Y.

Turn It Up a Notch

Several times each week, spend a little more energy while moving. Try to engage in vigorous activities at least three times each week for 20 consecutive minutes.

Have a Ball

When you add a ball to your play time, it’s likely to get your blood pumping a little faster. Go in your backyard or to a park with your kids and keeping a beach ball up in the air for as long as possible. (This is one of our favorite Y activities.) Kick a soccer ball around for a few minutes and see how that feels. Even throwing a baseball (or a disc) back and forth will send you jogging to recover the ball from time to time.

Test Your Healthy Family Home

Take this simple quiz from Y - USA to see how healthy your home is.

Push PLay

The best way to push play with your kids is to enroll them in YMCA Summer Day Camp. Member registration begins March 18. Open registration begins April 8.