Butte Parks and Recreation Creates Program to Get Kids Active - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Butte Parks and Recreation Creates Program to Get Kids Active

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BUTTE -

Butte Parks and Recreation will start a new program next week that encourages children to get outdoors and be active.

It's a startling statistic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. As of two years ago more than one-third of America’s children and teens were overweight or obese.

Pediatrician Dr. Lu Ochsner says it's important for children to establish an active lifestyle sooner rather than later. "A lot of their habits are developed when they're young and so if they get in the habit of being active as preschoolers and their early childhood then hopefully they'll continue those activities as they get older."

Butte Parks and Recreation Director Jay Ellington says the summer playground program is designed to get kids out of the house and into the outdoors where they can be active.

"The activities of the day at each one of the park sites will include everything from some bouncing structures that'll be available to them, we'll also do arts and crafts and some games as well. We'll teach them about the park system and the trail system in Butte."

The free two hour program will be three days a week and held at various parks around the county with a good portion designated to get the kids moving. "We hope to be in the activity mode, very active for at least an hour" says Ellington.

An hour of physical activity is the recommended daily amount for children according to the CDC. The idea is to get kids out there and moving. Even doing fun things like swinging on a swing is providing exercise. The pumping motion works not only your legs but also your core muscles.

Dr. Ochsner says living an active lifestyle should be something the family should do together, "The parents are very important in fact it needs to be a family affair. The more that the family gets out and plays together the better for the kids."

Dr. Ochsner also says getting a balanced diet that includes fruits and veggies should also be part of the equation.

The summer park program runs from July to August 14. For a complete schedule of dates and locations you can visit the Parks and Recreation website.

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