With the warm weather and extra free time away from the classroom, you might assume that kids spend a lot more time running around outdoors over summer vacation. But that assumption would be wrong.
When school’s out, kids are actually more likely to engage in obesity-related behaviors such as watching more television, consuming more sugar and eating fewer vegetables, and their exercise levels barely budge, according to a study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
With one in 6 American children obese, and millions more overweight, those bad habits become a cause for serious concern.
Parents, of course, play an important role in shaping their children’s habits.
Keep Your Family Active as the Temps Rise
It’s important to keep your family active throughout the summer – and we know it can be HOT in D.C., but family fitness is so important to ensuring a healthy family for years to come!
Here are some ideas to stay moving this summer for all ages – and some are even inside!
- Always refreshing during hot days is a dip in the community pool. There are dozens of pools – both indoor and outdoor – and splash parks all over the city that are free for D.C. residents.
- The DC Department of Parks and Recreation hosts activities and events all summer long. Each community rec center has different facilities and offerings, and one of our favorites is the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (701 Mississippi Ave. SE) that offers a variety of youth tennis programs that kids running around, learning hand-eye coordination, and sportsmanship.
- The Department of Parks and Recreation also hosts two traveling events throughout the summer – the Fun Wagon, which makes about three stops in different neighborhoods a week, brings fun activities such as bikes, scooters, basketballs, jump ropes, hoola hoops and more, and the Skatemobile, a mobile roller rink equipped with a sound system and more than 100 pairs of skates in all sizes.
- First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website features an “action” page devoted to making a fitness plan, with tips for successful summertime activity and nutrition. Here, families can make a six-week commitment to health and fitness by registering for the President’s Active Lifestyle Program. The program features more than 100 family-friendly activities.