The YMCA is hoping to spearhead a change by encouraging families to get active this summer. In Naperville, they are gearing up for "Healthy Kids Day."
These pre-schoolers are getting a head-start on a goal to help complete 500,000 jumping jacks.
Next Saturday, families are being invited to stop by a local YMCA to "donate" some jumping jacks. The so-called "jack it up" effort is part of Healthy Kids Day.
"It's a kickoff event for the summer to encourage families to be healthy, active also to think about learning loss and try to engage their kids academically," said Audrey Jones, fitness director, Fry Family YMCA.
The goal is to show families how simple exercises can lead to better health. Organizers say the issue is as critical in the Naperville-area as anywhere else in the country.
The DuPage County Health Department did body mass index studies on 260 children across DuPage County and they found out that 30% percent of the children were overweight and 15% that could be labeled as obese," said Judy Ellertson, executive director, Fry Family YMCA.
Scott Fox says he had fallen out the practice of exercising and recently joined the YMCA with his family. He wants his children to learn the importance of physical fitness early on.
"I used to weigh 300 pounds and health really wasn't stressed in my family as I was growing up. So it really is important to tell your children how to eat healthy, point them towards some kind of exercise that allows them to burn energy and stay active," said Fox.
YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is the Y's national initiative to improve families' health and well-being. It will take place next Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at most Y's across the city and suburbs. They will also feature games, healthy cooking demonstrations and arts and crafts.