If you asked me to describe my son I would most likely say that he’s a ball of never-ending energy. As soon as that boy wakes in the morning he’s asking, “What are we going to do today?” And before his head hits the pillow at night he’s already thinking about what he wants to get into the next day. Busy, busy, busy little bee.
Keeping him active, moving that growing body is important for not only his physical development, but his cognitive development as well. In fact, the CDC recommends that children and adolescents have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day, including aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and bone strengthening.
I don’t imagine that I surprised you with the need for children to be physically active. Sadly though, obesity now affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the U.S. Obesity during childhood can have harmful effects on the body in a variety of ways: high blood pressure – a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
How can we reverse the obesity epidemic and help to safeguard our children from the chronic diseases associated with childhood obesity? Community efforts focusing on supporting healthy eating and active living in a variety of settings is key to achieving and maintaining our goal of a healthy community.
So now, ladies and gents let me introduce you to The Taylor County Adventure Club!
The Taylor County Adventure Club, a group of local volunteers, is working to expand the opportunities available to our youth by bringing outdoor adventures to Grafton and the Tygart River, such as kayaking, an inflatable water park, archery tag, splash pad, running, biking, swimming, zip lining, a lazy river, hiking, and a whole lot more.
I was honored to attend the club’s first official meeting last Friday evening, representing the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department, to learn how I can help to make our community a healthier and happier place to be.
What I learned was: we have the perfect community to provide some truly astounding outside recreation that residents of all ages will enjoy; these volunteers have a progressive vision for numerous activities that will be added over time – beginning with kayaking; and in order to make this vision a reality we need the community to step up and help make it happen.
For years, we have heard that there is nothing for our youth to do in Taylor County. With your help, we can change that mindset forever by working to provide fun-filled activities for everyone.
For more information on becoming a member of The Adventure Club, for membership rates or volunteer opportunities, contact Bryan Smith at 304-709-0164 or by visiting the club’s Facebook page.
Remember, the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy community isn’t short-term; it’s about encouraging a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular physical activity. The Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is a proud supporter and participant in the Taylor County Adventure Club and encourages the community to join in as we work to create a healthier, and more active community.
For more information about healthy living choices, please contact the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department at 304-265-1288 or visit our new website at www.GTCHDWV.org.