Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Maryland: Montgomery County Recreation in Rhythm with Hearts N' Parks

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Maryland: Montgomery County Recreation in Rhythm with Hearts N' Parks

Article excerpt

Montgomery County, Md. is one of the 50 sites in 11 states selected for the National Recreation and Park Association's Hearts N' Parks, which is a program aimed to reduce incidences of obesity and coronary heart disease by encouraging Americans of all ages to aim for a healthy weight, follow a heart healthy eating plan and engage in regular physical activity.

To reach individuals with the Hearts N' Parks message, the program has been implemented into some already existing Montgomery County Department of Recreation events. These events are held annually in the community and Hearts N' Parks brings the focus either on physical activity and/or nutrition with games, activities and lectures.

Childhood obesity is at all all-time High. Inactivity can lead to major health problems. A recent Montgomery County Hearts N' Parks Program was the Holly Jolly Exercise Hop in mid-December. The Holly Jolly Exercise Hop was open to parents and their children, ages 4 to 6 years old. During this event children participated in activity stations such as beanbag throwing and inflatable fire truck slides. Sparky the Montgomery County Fire Dog and Frosty the Snowman lead the children in sing-a-along. After the events, children were given healthy snacks, which included juice, a box of raisins and a candy cane. The children also received a Hearts N' Parks T-shirt, stickers and tattoos.

Some measurable programs that are being implemented now or that will be in the near future include a 12-week program, "Lift Your Way to Stronger Bones. …

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