When you picture today’s youth, it often is an image of a child fixed to a screen for countless hours either immersed in a video game or scrolling through the latest tweets received on their smartphone. This technology-savvy group of youngsters generally face a health risk due to their sedentary lifestyle.
Fortunately, Blue Springs is addressing the growing concern of inactivity through Let’s Move! Saturdays.
Every Saturday for the past three years, kids and their families have been able to participate in free or low-cost activities offered by Blue Springs businesses to promote the joy of an active lifestyle, says Chris Brown who coordinates the Let’s Move! Saturday program.
According to Brown, Great American Gymnastics Express and Club 7 Fitness are just some examples of the businesses participating in the program to help kids get off the couch and encourage their families to promote a healthy lifestyle.
“Whether it’s bowling at Lunar Bowl or exercising at the Y.M.C.A.,” says Brown, “all kinds of businesses have been recruited for the Let’s Move! program.”
She said some activities are seasonal, such as golfing lessons at Adams Dairy Pointe Golf Course, and some are year-round like Title Boxing. There are a multitude of activities these businesses provide in order to entice kids to become engaged in a physical activity, says Brown.
“There are about 15-20 fitness clubs with more being added every year,” she said.
One of these new Let’s Move! Saturdays members, for instance, is Action Martial Arts Academy. This past Saturday Blue Springs students were able to learn self-defense techniques and had the chance to chop a piece of wooden board with their elbows at the dojo in the south side of town. Brown says the introductory lesson was free and was hoped to stimulate an interest with kids who perhaps never experienced this kind of physical activity before.
Another goal of the program is to bring families together, says Brown. “Our main philosophy is H.E.A.L., which means ‘healthy eating and active lifestyle.’”
Let’s Move! is a national initiative to help curb childhood obesity, according to the Let’s Move! Blue Springs website. Brown, along with a couple of volunteers, originally had just two or three events to offer, but eventually it grew to 10 or 12 a month.
Brown says despite the Let’s Move! Saturdays' growth, volunteers are in need to help promote the program and to register children and their families to participate in activities.
Although the 2014 schedule of Let’s Move! Saturdays events have not yet been scheduled, you can check for the latest updates on either their website, www.letsmovebluesprings.org, or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LetsMoveBlueSprings. Those sites will also provide information if you're interested in volunteering as well.