NORMAN — Families got up and moving during the Cleveland County Family YMCA's Healthy Kids Day. The free event included educational activities and active play, including family Zumba and yoga classes, fitness testing, obstacle courses, safety classes and crafts.
The Saturday event was part of a national initiative that took place at 1,900 YMCAs to improve the health and well-being of families and kick-start healthier behaviors for the summer, said Traci Wells, healthy living director for the Cleveland County YMCA.
“More than anything, this is about getting the word out about what people can do to make small changes in their health and their children's health,” Wells said.
Gina Brown participated in the Zumba class and other activities with her grandchildren, Natalya Rivera, 9, and Zea Sarmiento, 1.
Brown, a regular at the YMCA, said she brought her grandchildren so they could experience how much fun fitness can be.
“It's such a great event. I just love it,” she said. “I thought the kids would love it, too, and they have.”
State Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, attended with his wife and two sons, Luke, 6, and Blake, 3. He said he and his wife make a point to practice a healthy lifestyle.
“It's important to my wife and me that we live a healthy and active life not only for our own well-being, but also for the health of our two boys and their baby sister that will be here in a few weeks. We set the example for our kids to eat right and stay active,” Martin said.
“Whether it's hiking at the lake, playing catch or just going to a park, we make a point to get our boys outside and moving. Hopefully we are instilling habits that will last a lifetime.”
Setting the pace
Martin said events such as Healthy Kids Day can serve as a catalyst to improve the health of the community.
“They are setting the pace for our entire county,” Martin said. “It's never too late to get started down a path to a more healthy tomorrow. Today's event goes to show that exercise can be fun. I know we had a blast.”
Wells said she hopes families were encouraged by Healthy Kids Day to start thinking about how they will stay healthy and active, especially during the summer months.
Wells said the Cleveland County YMCA offers activities for adults and children throughout the summer and all year, including swimming lessons, T-ball, soccer and day camps.
For more information go to www.ymcanorman.org or call 364-9622.
More than anything, this is about getting the word out about what people can do to make small changes in their health and their children's health.”
Healthy living director for the Cleveland County YMCA