Last summer at various locations throughout Thurston County, a group of Zumba enthusiasts could be found getting a good workout while having lots of fun. This summer marks the return of the group, now called ZIPpers (short for Zumba in the Park persons). And you are invited to join them for free. Whats Zumba? The dance exercise sessions fuse fitness, entertainment and culture into what the company calls fitness parties set to upbeat Latin and world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography. Dancing is a great way to fit physical activity into your day, relieve stress, and have fun. No previous experience is necessary, and children and adults of all ages and abilities are invited to participate. The dances will be lead by certified local Zumba instructors who are volunteering their time. Regular Zumba in the Park events will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. every Saturday from July 6 through Aug, 31 in the gazebo at Rainier Vista Park, 5474 45th Avenue SE in Lacey. The dances are part of the Thurston County Healthy Child Weight Coalitions 7-5-2-1-0 Power in Numbers campaign to encourage families to follow some simple steps (based on the numbers) to staying healthy and preventing chronic illness:
7 Eat breakfast every day of the week.
5 Eat fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a day.
2 Limit screen time (time in front of a computer, television, or video games) unrelated to school to 2 hours or less daily.
1 Get 1 hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
0 Drink less sugar. Try water and low-fat milk instead of sugar-sweetened drinks.
The 7-5-2-1-0 Power in Numbers campaign is part of a nationwide movement to combat childhood obesity. Local campaigns like this and the national Lets Move campaign, sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama, encourage healthy lifestyle and food choices along with more physical activity for children.
The Thurston County Healthy Child Weight Coalitions mission is to create a community and environments that encourage kids to be physically active and eat healthy food. It supports policy and practice changes with local partners designed to increase access to healthy eating and physical activity. To learn more about the coalition and 7-5-2-1-0, go to www.75210.org.
Dr. Diana T. Yu is the Health Officer for Thurston and Mason counties. Reach her at 360-867-2501, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @yu4health on Twitter.