Kids summer fitness program begins Saturday

Free family activities, including gymnastics, Zumba and hula hooping will be offered at four locations in Snohomish County on Saturday, part of the start of the annual Get Movin’ program.

The free county-wide summer program, now in its ninth year, was established to motivate kids and their parents to be more active.

This year’s goal is have 3,500 kids and adults sign up, said Marielle Harrington, co-chairwoman of the Get Movin’ committee. Kids can register at Saturday’s events.

The program, like a summer reading program, provides free prizes for kids who meet activity goals. This year, the challenge has been increased. To win the prizes, kids must be active for one hour a day, five times a week.

Children who meet the weekly goal can qualify for free passes to activities such as swimming, using the climbing wall at REI, ice skating, and dance and gymnastic lessons.

In past years, the goal was to be active for 30 minutes five days a week.

The goal was increased this year to be more in line with the federal government’s recommendation that that kids and teens should get an hour of physical activity each day, Harrington said.

“You don’t have to run for 60 minutes,” she said. Any activity counts, from hiking to walking the dog.

“You can go to the park, bike ride or go for a walk after dinner,” she said.

The activities can be split up throughout the day, “10 minutes here and 20 minutes there,” she said.

Get Movin’ was launched by community groups nine years ago in response to trends both locally and nationally of increasing rates of obesity among children.

This year’s sponsors include the YMCA of Snohomish County, The Boys &Girls Club of Snohomish County, the cities of Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek and Mountlake Terrace, Molina Healthcare, Swedish/Edmonds, The Everett Clinic and The Herald.

Children and families can sign up for the program at free kick-off events Saturday in Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and Monroe. Two bikes from REI will be raffled at Saturday’s event in Lynnwood.

In south Snohomish County, up to 300 kids can quality for a more intense program, Get Movin’ Fit, Harrington said.

To participate, kids must live within the Edmonds School District’s boundaries. They must be referred by their physician or by the school district’s Move 60 program.

The pilot program targets kids at risk of being obese. They can log on to a secure website that will offer summer-long passes for bowling, skating and to area swimming pools, she said.

The program is sponsored by the Verdant Health Commission, a nonprofit organization to promote healthy lifestyles in south Snohomish County.

Get Movin’ is expanding into King County this year, with kick off events scheduled Saturday at Green Lake in Seattle, and June 14 at North Bend.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

Kick-off events for Get Movin’ the summer program that provides incentives for kids and their families to be active during the summer, are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at four locations:

Alderwood mall, 3000 184th Street SW, Lynnwood

Cascade Elite Gymnastics will lead basic gymnastics and tumbling skills, such as head stands, cartwheels and other exercises. A mini martial arts class will be provided by TaeKwonDo Way. The Mill Creek Family Y will provide Zumba and other activities. Swedish/Edmonds and Swedish/Mill Creek will provide free health screenings and answer health questions.

Allen Creek Elementary School, 6505 60th Drive NE, Marysville

Get Movin’ in Marysville is part of the Healthy Communities Challenge Day. Vendors and entertainers will focus on fitness, nutrition, gardening, physical health, and recreation.

Forest Park, 803 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett

There will be mascots from the Washington Stealth lacrosse team, Everett Raptors indoor football team, Everett Silver Tips hockey team, Everett AquaSox baseball team. The Little Gym of Everett will lead activities and the Everett YMCA will provide drills and circuit training for the whole family. Join a nature walk through the trails of Forest Park or try the mini golf course.

Monroe High School, 17001 Tester Road, Monroe

Monroe’s Get Movin’ event will partner with the Relay For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Activities include a hula hoop contest, line dancing, a lip sync contest, karaoke and Zumba.

For more information, check the Get Movin website at www.get-movin.org/kids-get-started.htm or call 425-670-5532 for more details. Can’t make it to the kick-off event? A list of registration locations are posted on the website.

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