How often are kids able to canoe, climb, hula hoop, jump rope, dance, hop, fish, paint, bike, pitch a tent and even pan for gold in one afternoon? On Saturday, June 8, nearly 10,000 kids and their families were able to participate in these activities and more at National Get Outdoors Day in Denver’s City Park.
With childhood overweight and obesity rates in Colorado near 25% and diminishing opportunities for youth to play outside, Get Outdoors Colorado launched Colorado’s annual National Get Outdoors Day event to encourage healthy, active outdoor lifestyles. This free event invited families to experience both traditional and non-traditional methods – such as standup elliptical bike rides – to enjoy the outdoors.
Kids had their photo taken with Smokey the Bear and became “Junior Rangers” in the Outdoor Adventure Village, and learned how to plants seeds in the Experiential Arts area. With so many creative and engaging activities for all skill levels throughout the park, it’s no wonder that the event continues to grow each year.
The LiveWell Colorado Get Movin’ Mobile was on-site in the Body Walk Village, an area dedicated to educating families in fun and engaging ways on different body parts and ways to live a healthier life. Traveling to different stations and earning stickers for completing challenges such as hula hooping for one minute, kids (and Park Rangers!) alike enjoyed heart-pumping activities and went home with fun prizes encouraging healthy eating and active living long after the day was over.
The Get Movin’ Mobile attends community fairs and events such as these to encourage folks to gain knowledge, adopt healthier behaviors, and learn more about the mission of LiveWell Colorado. New to the Get Movin’ Mobile this year is the introduction of the 4-Day Challenges, in which people commit to kick-start a healthy habit such as walking for 15 minutes four days in a row. With the goal of increasing outdoor play, National Get Outdoors Day was the perfect venue to encourage people to take on a 4-Day Challenge.
Reconnecting youth and their families to the outdoors is one way our state can continue to serve as a leader in the collective effort to reduce obesity. The path to a healthier life doesn’t need to start in a gym; it can start on a hike in one of Colorado’s 44 state parks, or planting a vegetable garden together as a family. National Get Outdoors Day is a celebration of the unique ways to be active and find adventure in your own backyard.
Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s National Get Outdoors Day event on June 14, 2014 and be on the lookout for the Get Movin’ Mobile at various festivals and events this summer! And thanks to our partners, Bellco Credit Union and Comcast Spotlight, for making fitness and fun a priority in Colorado and helping us bring the Get Movin' Mobile to so many events throughout the state.