A recent New York Times blog is a stark reminder why it’s vital that kids lead a healthy lifestyle. The post centered on a new C.D.C. study that found young Americans’ aerobic fitness in steady decline for a decade; with the average fitness of kids ages 12 to 15 dropping 10 percent since 2004. The long-term implications are especially worrisome. As the epidemiologist who ran the study noted, “Kids who are less fit are likely to be less healthy [as] adults.”
With about 3 out of 10 young people considered obese or overweight, early education and active programming for youth is critical for a healthier tomorrow. It’s why Healthy Lifestyles is one of three key outcome areas Clubs focus on.
One primary way that Clubs raise members’ awareness of the benefits of living healthy is through BGCA’s national signature health and wellness program, Triple Play. Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and WellPoint Foundation, the program changes how kids think about exercise, making it fun and exciting rather than a chore and, hopefully, a habit that lasts a lifetime. And this summer, Triple Play is bringing exercise to Club members all across America!>/p>
Last week, the Triple Play Million Minutes in Motion mobile tour kicked off in California with visits to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley and the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles. Over the next six weeks, the tour will visit Clubs in 20 cities around the country. The goal: get thousands of Club kids to perform 1 million minutes of exercise by Aug. 15. With the Triple Play Tour Van jam-packed with fun games and activities (giant checkers board, obstacle courses, hula hoops, dodgeball, etc.), I’m feeling good about our chances.
Follow the tour and watch the minutes accumulate at TriplePlayTour.com. And make sure to balance your online time with some good old cardiovascular activity. My family and I get ourselves moving in a variety of ways. Chase and Grayson, for instance, are busy with basketball camp and swimming this summer. And my wife, Samantha, and I enjoy going bike-riding with the boys. We’ve found exercising as a family is not just fun, but a great way to bond, away from distractions like TV and personal electronic devices. It also instills values in our kids about health and character – just as Clubs do.