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Prevention Presents: Healthy Summer Activities

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 eric-dale

Healthy Summer Activities
Eric Dale
Prevention Specialist

With summertime right around the corner, families often find themselves with children and teens who are bored with just about anything that doesn’t involve technology.  You can probably remember your summers being filled with outdoor activities, whether it was going to the zoo, attending a baseball game, playing pickup games, or riding a bike until the street lights came on.  However, with technology becoming a daily part of our lives, it isn’t unusual for a parent to just slip their child their cell phone or tablet to occupy them. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high and continues to increase yearly, nearing epidemic proportions. Many families adopt unhealthy eating habits in the summer, causing more calorie intake, and not enough exercise to balance it out.  The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.  Having a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity is also important for long term health benefits and prevention of chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Although some give Toledo a bad rap, it actually does offer a lot of fun, inexpensive activities for families to enjoy all summer long.  Even if you feel your neighborhood is unsafe for children to play outside, in most areas of the city you are not very far from a park or activity that could promote physical activity. By setting them up for success, children’s risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and many other diseases are dramatically reduced.  Set an example for your children this summer, put a time limit on devices, and encourage them to get outside and be active.

While some of these activities may not be very physically active, mental exercise can be just as beneficial to your child’s well-being as physical activity.  Making our children think, while at a baseball game or museum, could help become interested in something they may not have been before.  After all, expanding their life experiences so they know what they want to do when they grow up, before they grow up, is what it’s all about.

Here are some favorites fun-filled, family-friendly activities that we have in the Toledo area:

For even more fun, local activities, check out www.momonthegoinholytoledo.com or http://www.co.lucas.oh.us/DocumentCenter/View/59161

 

 

 

 

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 kathy-schnapp-jan17

A Place For Mary
Kathy Schnapp, LSW, OCPSII
Prevention Education
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