FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YMCAs Help Families Achieve Healthy Balance in Stressful Times

YMCA Healthy Kids® Day Celebrated on April 18

CHICAGO, April 9, 2009— At a time when American families face mounting challenges posed by a tumultuous economy, YMCAs continue to provide options for parents and kids to live happier and healthier lives.  On YMCA Healthy Kids Day, YMCAs from across the country will open their doors to nearly 800,000 children, parents and community members for an event that celebrates healthy living, encourages families to embrace a more active lifestyle and introduces tools and strategies for making changes as a family. 

“The YMCA understands that many families in our communities are really struggling to maintain balance in their lives,” says Lynne Vaughan, Chief Innovation Officer, YMCA of the USA. “Through YMCA Healthy Kids Day, we give them an opportunity to have fun and be active as a family, as well as provide simple tools they can use all year long to make things a little better and a little less stressful.”

Managing stress through activities like those recommended at YMCA Healthy Kids Day has never been more necessary.  The American Psychological Association reports that 46 percent of Americans feel significant worry when it comes to providing for their families’ basic needs, and anxieties like these take a hefty toll on both parents’ and kids’ well being.

To help families combat increased stress levels, YMCA Healthy Kids Day emphasizes regular physical activity, choosing nutritious food options and making time to connect as a family.  Event participants will receive resources from YMCA Healthy Family Home, an initiative that provides children and families with tools and resources for incorporating healthy living in their homes.  Among the best changes you can begin making at home together are: 

  • Involve the whole family in meal planning, preparation and clean-up
  • Eat more meals together as a family
  • Provide each child with one-on-one time every day
  • Designate one night a week for walks, bowling, bike rides, roller skating or the park
  • Serve fruits and vegetables at most meals; include a whole-grain or protein option with every snack

YMCA Healthy Kids Day includes free, fun and engaging activities for children and families and promotes year-long wellness and healthy living.  More than 1,800 YMCAs will host events across the country on April 18, offering such activities as cooking classes and demonstrations, rock wall climbing, dance demonstrations, and health screenings.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day is supported nationally by Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney, Eli Lilly and Company, Huggies Little Swimmers Brand, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Tropicana.  YMCA Healthy Kids Day is alsosupported by the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.  For more information about YMCA Healthy Kids Day, visit www.ymca.net.

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About YMCA of the USA: YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs, which serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 million children under the age of 18. YMCAs respond to critical social needs by drawing on their collective strength as one of America’s largest not-for-profit community service organizations.  Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels.  From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America’s communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.

Contact:
Mamie Moore
YMCA of the USA
312-419-8325
mamie.moore@ymca.net

Thursday, April 9, 2009

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.