ST. GEORGE – Keeping your child from spending hours conquering a video game or evenings watching episodes on Netflix can be a difficult task. As the winter begins to fade and make room for spring weather, it’s the perfect time to encourage your kids and the entire family to start moving.
Healthy children begin within the family and the community. When the entire family is actively involved in getting up and moving it teaches children the pattern of a healthy lifestyle.
“It has been proven that when physical activity is encouraged by schools, families and friends then kids will be active,” said Locke Ettinger, director of the St. George LiVe Well Center. “I know of no child that would turn down an invitation to play ball with their mom or go on a hike with their dad. Kids want to do what parents do.”
Opportunities to walk more or play outside don’t have to be expensive. One example of a healthy, free community event is Walk Washington County. As part of the celebration of 100 years of health care in Southern Utah, Dixie Regional Medical Center has partnered with the mayors of Washington County cities to sponsor walks all over Washington County. Each month a city will host a walk in their town that the mayor will lead while offering historical facts along the way.
Families are encouraged to participate and learn more about the history of Washington County while getting a little exercise. Everyone over the age of 12 will get a free wooden walking stick. Visit Intermountain’s website for Walk Washington County or call 435-251-3629.
Signing your children up for classes or having them participate in a team sport is also another way to encourage a healthy lifestyle. At the St. George LiVe Well Center the FUNdamentals class is specifically designed to help your children move while having fun. This hour long class will teach your kids agility, balance, coordination, flexibility and self-esteem in a safe, exciting atmosphere. Children, ages 8 to 12 are encouraged to participate in the class.
“FUNdamentals is a fun environment to motivate kids to want to exercise, play and work together, while enhancing a wide range of skills,” says Allison Bradley, wellness coordinator at St. George LiVe Well Center. “We want to encourage and build a foundational base for a fitness-filled future.”
Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well program encourages families to get out, get going and LiVe Well. The eight healthy habits include:
- Always eat breakfast, and make it healthy
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Limit or eliminate sweetened drinks
- Watch less TV
- Increase physical activity
- Eat meals together as a family – sitting down
- Be positive about food
- Don’t criticize about weight
Intermountain LiVe Well sponsored Mayors’ monthly walks, website: Walk Washington County. The following walks are scheduled as this article publishes:
April 26, 6 p.m – Hurricane City Community Center, walk with Mayor Tom Hirschi and the Hurricane City Council.
May 11, 9 a.m. – Washington /city, walk with Mayor Ken Neilson.
June 21, 9 a.m. – Ivins, Toe Trail, Tuacahn, walk with Mayor Chris Hart
July 8, 7 p.m. – St. George Town Square, Intermountain’s Care Centennial highlighting the historic health care locations in our area.
August 24, 10 a.m. – Enterprise Elementary, walk with mayor Lee Bracken included as part of the Enterprise Corn Fest.
September 25, 7 p.m. – Santa Clara Town Hall, walk with Mayor Rick Rosenberg will kick off Santa Clara Swiss Days.
October 12, 9 a.m. – Leeds walk – check Walk Washington County website for details.
November 29, 10 a.m. – Toquerville Town Hall, start Thanksgiving Day off with a walk with Mayor Darrin LeFevre.
December 7, 1 p.m. – LaVerkin Town Hall, join in LaVerkin’s Winter Fest with a walk with Mayor Karl Wilson.
LiVe Well Website: www.IntermountainLiVeWell.org / Telephone: LiVe Well Center 435-251-3629.
Written by the LiVe Well Center of Intermountain Health for St. George Health and Wellness magazine.
Email: [email protected]
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