On Saturday, May 6, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. The event will take place at 17 Y locations throughout metro Atlanta from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature scheduled activities such as Kids Fun Runs, Y Program Demos, Family Yoga, Kids Swim Relay (on dry land!) and Family Zumba to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home. Other activities throughout the event will include: games for the whole family; kids obstacle course; healthy snack wars; Y membership station; and community partners and exhibitors. For more information and to find your local branch visit ymcakidsday.com.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,600 Ys across the country by over 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they will continue all summer long. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically – this summer learning loss is more pronounced among students from low-income families. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on “charging” kids up with enthusiasm for themselves and their potential.

“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result,” says Kristin McEwen, senior vice president of operations, overseeing all wellness initiatives and programs at the Y. “We see potential in all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. A child’s development is never on vacation and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer.”

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

  • High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
  • Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
  • Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
  • Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
  • Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.

The YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at 17 Y locations throughout metro Atlanta from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features fun, active play and educational activities, such as hit, pitch and run exhibition at the Villages at Carver Family Y, healthy snack wars at Andrew & Walter Young Family Y, Swim Relay on dry land at East Lake Family Y, Ultimate Frisbee demo at Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA at Buckhead. This year the mascots from all of Atlanta’s professional sports teams will be stopping by the branches to entertain those in attendance and some will even be giving away ticket vouchers along with other goodies.

All kids deserve the best summer ever, and Delta is proud to be the national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day, which kicks off a healthy, active and engaged summer for kids throughout the country. Locally, Healthy Kids Day is sponsored by Publix Charities, Delta and Great American Insurance Company.

For more information, contact your local branch or visit ymcakidsday.com.