Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Sept. 10, 2010

Go Play During Family Health and Fitness Day!

Oswego County Public Health Educators Diane Oldenburg (l) and Eliza St. Onge (r) display a trail marker for the Oswego Canal Park Walking Trail. The Health Department encourages families to celebrate Family Health and Fitness Day on Saturday, Sept. 25 with a trail walk or bicycle ride.

Family Health and Fitness Day is Saturday, Sept. 25. The Oswego County Health Department recognizes the importance of daily physical activity for children and adults and encourages residents to take time out of their busy schedules to make exercise a daily habit.

Daily physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with good eating habits, physical activity can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and stroke, the three leading causes of death. Physical activity also helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity.

"Families today lead a very different kind of life," said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County Public Health Director. "Walks to and from school have been replaced by car and bus rides. Gym class and school sports have been cut and are often replaced by afternoons with TV, video games, and the Internet. Parents are busier than ever and families eat fewer home-cooked meals. Snacking between meals is now the norm, not the exception."

Children and adolescents need 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily and adults should get at least 30 minutes of activity on most days. This activity doesn't have to happen at once. It all adds up. Sleep is also an essential part of living an active life.

Adult family members who enjoy physical activity can share their enjoyment with their children and play an important role in determining their child's participation in physical activity - how much, how often and what types of physical activities they engage in.

Here are some other tips to help the family lead a healthier lifestyle:

  • Give children toys that encourage physical activity, such as kites, balls and jump ropes;
  • Encourage children to join sports teams or try new activities;
  • Walk around the block after a meal;
  • Limit the amount of screen time children have on computers, TVs, video games and cell phones.

    Adult family members who enjoy physical activity can share their enjoyment with their children and play an important role in determining their child's participation in physical activity - how much, how often and what types of physical activities they engage in.

    There are many low or no cost ways to be active together as a family. Use Family Health and Fitness Day to find time to spend together with a fun activity like hiking, biking, or going to a nearby park.

    The Oswego County Health Department recently teamed up with the City of Oswego and the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning to mark three walking trails that run from Breitbeck Park to the Fort Ontario State Historic Site in the city of Oswego.

    There are many other great outdoor activities and recreational areas available in Oswego County year-round. To find a location or activity near you, go to visitoswegocounty.com.

    For more information about health and fitness, contact the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.


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