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Active Summers Make for Better School Years By Bob Rauner, MD MPH, President, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL), and Julie Pearson Anderson, PHL Communications Manager


n the summer, kids often fall into one of two modes: active or inactive. Some see summer as a time to relax, sleep-in, and recoup from the demands of the school year. Others see it as a chance to get outdoors and burn off some energy.

The truth is, balance is everything. Kids need adequate sleep, proper nutrition, a chance to de-stress, and physical activity. However, numerous studies have shown that physically fit kids do better academically, so it’s important that kids don’t lose ground over the summer and go back to school ready to learn. Studies tracking childhood obesity confirm that kids tend to maintain or achieve a healthier weight & fitness during the school year, and then struggle over the summer break. So what can a parent do to help their child? Here are some tips and ideas to help kids stay fit and keep healthier weights over the summer: Explore parks and trails. With 125 parks and 131 trails, Lincoln is a great place to experience nature and get some exercise. Check out the family-friendly programs at the Pioneers Park Nature Center, where there’s something for all ages.

Get information about the Nature Center and other Lincoln Parks and Recreation summer fun at lincoln. ne.gov/city/parks/programs.

Speaking of trails, Lincoln is a bike-friendly community. Consider biking as a family down one of the many trails that reach around Lincoln. Don’t have bicycles? Lincoln’s new Bike Share program offers affordable rentals from 19 different stations in the city. Learn more at BikeLNK.com. The non-profit Lincoln Bicycle Kitchen also repairs or provides bikes at no cost to kids in need. For competitive fun, encourage your child to participate in the National Bike Challenge that begins in May. Lincoln took the top spot last year! Kids and families can sign up now at lovetoride.net. Summer programs. There are numerous summer programs in Lincoln for kids, including youth sports through the YMCA and activity programs through LPS Community Learning Centers and Lincoln Parks & Recreation neighborhood centers. Options range from competitive youth sports to non-competitive activities like yoga and dance. Looking for something unique? Try new things with your kids like pickle ball or disc golf. For great outside-the-box suggestions check out Get Up and Go, a video series on YouTube from LNKTV

Golf is fun! Join Pine Lake


for fun & skill development Just $125 for all of 2018 | Ages 3-17

Includes unlimited play, year-round programming, and complimentary clubs & bags provided by Sticks for Kids. Group instruction available days, evenings, & weekends. Directed by Dave Malone, PGA, US Kids Certified Junior Coach

6601 S. 84th st • (402) 560-3371 • dmalonePGA1 @gmail.com

www.PineLakeJuniorGolfAcademy.com Page 20 • LincolnKidsInc.com

Health, Lincoln’s own social media programming dedicated to health and wellness. Indoor fun. Too hot, or raining buckets? Slip on the sneakers and take the family to an indoor mall. A couple of loops around the interior of Gateway is nearly 2 miles. Add to steps by parking away from the entrance. If you don’t feel like venturing out, Wii Sports or Wii Dance are fun indoor options. Around the house. Kids may groan, but some household chores can count as exercise. Mowing the yard, washing the car, working in the garden, or walking the dog can provide a workout that keeps kids fit. After dark. Spice up classic yard games by adding flashlights, like tag, limbo, and high-and-seek—perfect for a fun evening with friends. Snacking smart. Summer is often synonymous with junk food. It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to keep your kids from consuming junk food and sugary drinks is to simply not buy them. Whether its 12 ounces of fruit juice or 16 ounces of regular

soda, a 75-pound kid would have to walk 5-6 miles to burn off those calories. Kids will snack on whatever is on hand; if healthy options are available, that’s what they’ll eat. A little prep on the weekend can yield healthier food decisions for both kids and parents. Keep them active this summer and you’ll send them back to school this fall healthier and prepared to learn. Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, wellness, and fitness of our community. We collaborate with other organizations to improve health by increasing physical fitness, promoting healthy weights & good nutrition, supporting breastfeeding, and improving cancer screening and vaccination rates.

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Lincoln Kids! Summer 2018  

Your FREE family guide to May, June, and July in the Lincoln, Nebraska area! Kid-friendly places, things, and events to check out with your...

Lincoln Kids! Summer 2018  

Your FREE family guide to May, June, and July in the Lincoln, Nebraska area! Kid-friendly places, things, and events to check out with your...