YMCAs in LA aim to get families started on a lifetime of fitness with 'Healthy Kids Day'

RESEDA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Getting kids to exercise during the summer should be easy, but all the latest studies show children and their parents are spending more time sitting.

This Saturday, 26 L.A. area YMCAs hope to get local families started on a lifetime of fitness.

This weekend, they're inviting people to take part in "Healthy Kids Day."

It's hard to keep 4-year-old Landon and 2-year-old Mia from colliding on the playground when they're having so much fun.

"She comes here. She plays and she does gymnastics," said Mia's mom, Lizbeth Maroquin Lopez. "She used to do swimming."

At the West Valley Family YMCA in Reseda, children and parents exercise together, but the kids can burn off even more energy on the playground.

"Your health depends on it and the health of your little ones as well," said Landon's grandmother, Catherine Pacheco. "And their emotional well-being as well."

"We like to encourage about nutrition and just the importance of moving," Health and Lifestyle Director Adrienne Taylor said.

Taylor does this with her members everyday, but on Saturday, she and her colleague will get to do this for the whole community at the YMCA's annual "Healthy Kids Day".

"We do STEM, we do Silly Snacks," said After School Program and Site Director Monique Otero. "We do arts-and-play, so we give them a little bit of everything that we do, so that when the parents come they have a little bit of an idea of what we do."

Otero said the community outreach effort is especially crucial at a time when many young children are spending far too many hours sitting with their tablets and smartphones.

To get kids active this summer, the YMCA is offering free teen memberships to kids 12 to 17 years old.

"Once it's instilled in them from an early stage, I think it stays with them," Taylor said.

Twenty-six YMCAs will be offering different kinds of events throughout their communities.

The West Valley Family YMCA will be offering interactive demonstrations this April 27 at The Village at Westfield Topanga.
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