It’s Summer…Let’s get out and enjoy the outdoors!
Summer often means vacations, camping, barbeques, adventure, and no school—so what does that mean for your family’s health? For kids, summer is the long anticipated freedom from school but for parents, it can sometimes be a challenge to ensure that your kids are still involved in activities that will encourage growth, learning, and fun. By keeping health and activity in mind this summer, you can prevent your family from falling into an unhealthy summer slump!
This July get outside and celebrate Park and Recreation Month! Whether someone is taking a walk on a trail or fitness class at the community center, getting a nutritious meal or just enjoying clean air in a preserved green space, parks and recreation are a pathway to a healthy community!
Nationwide there are an estimated 105,000 community parks within reach of 300 million people. Studies have shown that when people have access to parks, they exercise more. Children who spend at least 20 minutes a day in greener areas get five times as much exercise as children who don’t. And a 2011 study of Seattle’s park and recreation system revealed that city residents saved $64 million in medical costs as a result of getting physical activity in parks. Your local park might be one of the healthiest places in town!
Research has shown that close to 75% of kids do not get the recommended amount of daily activity (60 minutes), which is why we are excited to help kids in our community get out and play! This summer The Hope is thrilled to partner with the cities of Kent and Renton, and local Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Washington state to offer heart healthy exercise and nutrition activities for local youth, through our Kids Take Heart program. These events, held at local playgrounds and community centers, promote healthy eating and active living for kids and give them a great opportunity to learn a little about their hearts and encourage them to be active outside in the summer. At most of the playground sites, The Hope MegaHeart (our inflatable, walk-thru heart) will serve as an exciting feature to show kids important aspects of keeping their hearts healthy throughout their lifetime.
Ending Summertime Weight Gain for
By Cherie Skager, Executive Director, The Hope Heart Institute and Matt Watrous, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs in Washington State
America’s kids are in crisis. Summer break is usually associated with active neighborhood games, long bike rides and lots of swimming, yet a recent study suggests these types of experiences are becoming less common with youth. Many youth spend more time indoors than ever. The results of less active summers are harmful to kids’ health. The evidence is becoming clear that our children are gaining more weight during the summer season, as well as losing gains made in fitness during the school year3. According to two studies, during summertime children gain up to three times as much weight as during the school year4,5. Despite the incredible focus on childhood obesity, the effects of summer vacation has received very little attention. Most parents thought that summer break only resulted in loss of reading, writing and math skills, now we have something else to focus on.
Three out of 10 kids are obese or overweight.1, Being overweight as a child dramatically increases risk of many diseases later in life, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. The issues facing kids today also impact our nation’s economy. Nationally, healthcare costs to treat health issues related to childhood obesity are $14.1 billion annually2
How do we reverse these negative trends facing young people today? One way is by recognizing the importance of out-of-school time. The out-of-school environment—after school and summer—plays an essential, yet often overlooked, role in transforming kids’ lives. What happens during the hours between school and home can have a dramatic impact on a child’s future, especially in the area of health. By providing access to positive, productive programs during summer, we can help change the future for our youth, and our community.
Many organizations seek to curb the causes of childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease. But no one can do it alone. Through the generous support of the Safeway Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs across Washington State are partnering with The Hope Heart Institute, a local leader in cardiovascular prevention research and education, to implement its evidence-based health and fitness curriculum, Kids Take Heart (KTH). The Hope Heart Institute will equip Boys & Girls Club staff with education and curriculum kits that will reach 400 youth at eight Boys & Girls Club locations throughout the state this summer.
Kids Take Heart is aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, with the goal to increase students’ knowledge of and participation in healthy behaviors. Participants identify components, functions and diseases of the cardiovascular system, recognize and evaluate risk factors, warning signs and prevention strategies, and create and implement a personal wellness plan. Lessons are divided into four topic areas: anatomy, nutrition, fitness, stress/goal setting. The Clubs will also compete in a 30 day challenge comparing the number of fruit and vegetable servings consumed at each site.
This partnership, funded by the Safeway Foundation, was launched over the last two years, reaching 856 youth. Evaluation data indicated that youth who participated in Kids Take Heart increased their knowledge of heart health, and increased their desire to take a more active role in their health. With promising results from last year, we will continue to develop this program which addresses a critical need locally and look at scaling it on a national level.
Childhood obesity is a complex issue that affects some of our most vulnerable and precious community members. In order for our kids to live long and healthy lives, it is imperative we continue to develop and implement programs, policies and partnerships robust enough to ensure each child’s future success.
1) Source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) February 2012, and Ogden, C.L.; Carroll, M.D.; Kit, B.K. and Flegal, K.M. “Prevalence of Obesity and Trends in Body Mass Index among US Children and Adolescents, 1999-2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, (February 1, 2012) 2) Source: Trasande, L. and Chatterjee, S. “The Impact of Obesity on Health Service Utilization and Costs in Childhood,” Obesity, (2009). 3) Source: Active Living Research, “Does Summertime Weight Gain Undermine Youth Obesity Prevention Efforts?” (2015). 4) Source: Baranowski T, O’Connor T, Johnston C, Hughes S, Moreno J, Chen TA, et al. School year versus summer differences in child weight gain: a narrative review. Child Obes. 2014;10(1):18-24. 5) Source: Franckle R, Adler R, Davison K. Accelerated weight gain among children during summer versus school year and related racial/ethnic disparities: a systematic review. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014;11:E101.
Run for Hope is our new active lifestyle program and you are invited to join the movement! Members are beginning or seasoned runners, serving as ambassadors to promote exercise, community and fundraising to change the course of cardiovascular disease. Members can fundraise to celebrate personal fitness goals, or in honor or in tribute of a loved one who has faced cardiovascular disease.
By running, you can
- Prevent disease
- Lose weight
- Boost your confidence
- Relieve stress
- Eliminate depression
- Make new friends
- Promote Cardiovascular Health!
Join Run for Hope today! The first 50 members will receive:
- Books training shirt
- Brooks running socks
- Brooks water bottle
- The Hope personal fundraising page
Introductory donation for the first 50 members: $45.00.
Take Heart Luncheon
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Transform habits to live a lifestyle that honors you! Join the movement to end cardiovascular disease as the #1 killer in America by equipping yourself and our community with the education, support and resources needed to live a healthy, fit and joyful life.
Reservations and Sponsorship information at www.hopeheart.org/events/
Woodinville-to-Redmont Wine and Beer Country Half
Volunteers needed! The Hope is a charity partner of the September 17 Woodinville – to – Redmond Wine and Beer Country Half Marathon and we invite you to volunteer. Not only will you have a lot of fun, but your volunteer time will result in a $50 donation to The Hope from Destination Races. Choose one or more shifts, invite your friends and family to join you, and support The Hope!
Learn more and register as a volunteer at Woodinville-to-Redmond Wine and Beer Country Half Marathon http://www.hopeheart.org/events/woodinville-to-redmond-wine-beer-country-half-marathon/