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Healthy Kids Day will offer tips on active lifestyles

DeKALB – Parents and children will have the opportunity to learn tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle at a free event Saturday at Kishwaukee Family YMCA.

At the same time, participants will be able to experience different activities such as Zumba, tai chi, face painting, and a police dog demonstration, said Heather Eade, the Y’s marketing director.

During this time, members of the DeKalb Leadership Academy will be holding a Bike Rodeo, Eade said about the Kishwaukee Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day.

“They set up a little town, and will be doing it in our sport centers,” Eade said about the bike rodeo. “They will be showing kids the rules of riding a bicycle.”

Eade said children can bring in their own bicycles, and that academy members will do safety checks on their bikes. DeKalb and Sycamore police also will be on hand for bike registration. Organizers are expecting about 400 people to attend the event.

The YMCA publishes annual findings from its survey of parents on how much physical activity their children get during the school year. In 2013, the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot found that 19 percent of children get 60 minutes of physical activity and 12 percent eat at least eight fruits and vegetables daily.

Eade said she thinks the lack of physical activity for children might be because of a lack of opportunity.

“It’s not an unwillingness to do it,” Eade said. “When we do engage kids in these types of activities, they are more than willing to participate. It might be a lack of opportunity.”

Debbie Meadley, the development director at Kishwaukee YMCA, said it’s important for people to be aware of the health risks associated with childhood obesity.

“It’s extremely important to create awareness for families to prevent these chronic health issues in the future,” Meadley said.

If exercise is fun and engaging, Eade said children will not realize that exercise is a chore.

“We hope they learn that getting exercise can be fun.”

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