The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, June 3, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

Yes, getting fit can be fun

Those inclined to study such things have been gathering data on youth fitness for years. Watching obesity rates climb and overall health levels drop, they’re appropriately worried about our children. Lack of exercise and a lousy diet — habits modeled so consistently by too many adults — are having health implications for an entire generation.
Studying the problem is fine, but action is also needed to start reversing these increasingly distressing trends.
It isn’t rocket science. In fact, most parents need only look at their own childhood to find one of the most obvious solutions. Remember playing outside? Days that were filled from sunrise to sunset with bike riding, swinging, running, jumping, climbing trees and swimming with the other kids in your neighborhood?
Exercise was called playing. That something more structured might someday be necessary, let alone a program with rewards to encourage kids to be active, was unimaginable.
Not so today. Computers, television and video games lure kids onto the sofa, where they stay for hours at a time. With that kind of competition, getting kids the exercise they need isn’t as easy as pushing them outside to play. For many families a higher level of motivation is necessary to inspire essential lifestyle changes.
That’s the impetus behind Get Movin’, a successful, locally-driven, summer-long program that kicks off its seventh year on Saturday. It’s filled with activities and rewards designed to inspire a little pint-sized perspiration.
Weekly prizes are available for kids who commit to and complete the challenge of 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least five days a week. Prizes include passes for fun activities such as rock climbing, swimming, ice skating and more.
Enrollment is free and signing up is easy, fun and energizing. Kick-off events are slated to run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday at the following sites:
  • In Marysville at Allen Creek Elementary School, 6505 60th Drive NE
    At the Everett Mall, 1402 SE Everett Mall Way
    In Monroe at the Sky Valley YMCA, 14033 Fryelands Blvd. SE
    In Lynnwood at the Alderwood mall, 3000 184th St. SW
    In Stanwood at Haggen Food & Pharmacy, 26603 72nd Ave. NW
    Whether you consider the program’s rewards incentive or bribery — it doesn’t really matter — the point is to turn off the television and the computer and, well, Get Movin’. A lifetime of healthy benefits could result.

    More information is available at or by calling 425-670-5REC or 360-653-9622.
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    Herald Editorial Board

    Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

    Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

    Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

    Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

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