The summer heat and weather may be getting the kids down, but staying active is important– especially during the summer months. Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Dawn Kita, Senior Wellness Director for the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA is here to talk about how families can stay active together this summer, even if they are stuck indoors.
How can working families be sure the children are staying active?
Get kids involved in camps, not just having a sitter come to the house…even if it’s only for a few weeks out of the summer. Kids are less physically active during the summer months. In fact, research shows children gain weight two to three times faster during the summer vacation than during the school year. A child’s development is never on vacation and summer camp helps kids stay healthy and achieving all summer long. A supervised summer camp program can work with children and families to help incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating into their lives. A camp program can serve as a parenting partner in a safe environment. The Tampa YMCA, for example, incorporates 30-60 minutes of physical activity into our daily camp curriculum. This provides plenty of opportunity for kids to exercise while practicing their skills in sports, running, swimming and more. We also provide healthy snacks and water.
How can families be active together?
Focus on early morning and after dinner times to get outdoors. Go to the park, the community pool and ride bikes on some of our local trails. Parents, caregivers and camp counselors can serve as role models for children. We can encourage children to eat well and be physically active. Family activities are great ways to spend time together, exercising while you bond.
What can families do indoors during the summer?
Family field trips to bowling, trampoline and bounce house places…even going to the library gets children away from the TVs and computers and encourages them to keep reading!
What are some fun, easy ways to teach kids how to stay healthy?
There are a variety of ways to engage kids and get them involved in their own health habits. For example, at the Y we teach kids the “5, 2, 1, Almost None” curriculum in our out-of-school programs. “5, 2, 1, Almost None” stands for:
5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
2 hours or less of “inactive” screen time every day
1 hour of physical activity every day
Almost no sugary beverages daily
For more information on staying fit and healthy this summer, visit TBParenting.com.