Swim free during September at Veterans Pool
LA GRANDE — Anytime Fitness and the Veterans Memorial Pool are partnering to offer free swim Saturdays this month in recognition of “National Childhood Obesity Month.”
The first 35 kids coming to the pool and using the password “Anytime” will be allowed to swim at the pool free of charge from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Supervision requirements are strictly enforced and parents should read these prior to sending their children to the pool: www.cityoflagrande.org/aquatics.
The free-swim Saturday program is part of a national initiative to reduce childhood obesity and introduce children to healthy lifestyle choices.
“One out of three children are facing obesity in our country. That is alarming,” said Rikki Jo Hickey, Anytime fitness business manager and certified personal trainer.
According to Hickey, during the past four decades, obesity rates have increased more than fourfold among children ages 6 to 11, and more than 23 million children and teens (31.8 percent) between 2 and 19 are obese or overweight. An obese child is at an 80 percent risk of becoming an obese adult.
Obesity comes with a price for the child, the adult and the health-care system. It puts a person at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, cancer, osteoarthritis, and type 2 diabetes. The health care costs? A sobering $14 billion each year. For the individual, that translates to 9 percent of their total medical costs being spent on obesity-related illnesses.
“These severe consequences underscore the critical importance of children and teens to participate in physical activity and to engage in healthy eating habits,” said Hickey. “Childhood obesity is entirely preventable. It’s up to adults to encourage these healthy habits.”
Each September since 2010, organizations and families are stepping up the physical activities for their children and building awareness of childhood obesity. Information and resources are available online at www.COAM-month.org.
Anytime Fitness, 2212 Island Ave. in La Grande, is a 24-hour access gym with tanning, personal training and group exclusives. Family training packages are now available through Oct. 15 to help combat childhood obesity. For additional information, call the office at 541-663-0300, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.