Healthy Lifestyles Indicators

The Importance of Healthy Lifestyles

To achieve the pirority outcome of Healthy Lifestyles, Members will adopt healthy diets, practice healthy lifestyle choices and make a lifelong commitment to fitness.

Young people who develop healthy eating and exercise habits during childhood and adolescence are more likely to maintain these habits, along with the associated health benefits, into adulthood. Monitoring health-related factors such as physical activity, nutrition and physical fitness, as well as members’ avoidance of risky behaviors will help Clubs effectively target programming and interventions, and will enable Clubs and BGCA to demonstrate our positive impact on the health and well-being of members.

To determine whether Members are on track to achieve this goal, we measure the following indicators:

    • Physical activity
    • Nutrition

Physical Activity
Physical activity is a way to combat obesity – and a critical element of an overall healthy lifestyle. Physically active youth have higher levels of cardio-respiratory fitness, stronger muscles, a lower body mass index (a measure of percentage of body fat) and stronger bones, and they may have reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Youth who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood. Children and adolescents don’t usually develop chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes or osteoporosis; however, risk factors for these diseases can begin to develop early in life. Regular physical activity makes it less likely that young people will develop these risk factors and more likely that they will remain healthy as adults.  Finally, evidence suggests that higher levels of physical activity in childhood are predictive of high levels of physical activity in adulthood.

The amount and types of physical activity that youth ages 6-18 need differ from what adults need. Physical activity should include aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents engage in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day, including the activities that youth and adolescents commonly play (both informal and organized). In other words, school-age youth should participate each day in 60 minutes or more of MVPA that is developmentally appropriate, enjoyable and involves a variety of activities.

BGCA will provide Clubs with a survey to determine how many days per week each Member engages in at least 60 minutes of MVPA. These data will be collected for members in all grades. BGCA will collect these data from all Clubs.

In order to support the nutritional needs of growing bodies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that youth eat breakfast every day, get at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugar-sweetened drinks that increase caloric intake without providing any nutritional value.

BGCA will provide Clubs with a survey to determine the number and percentage of Members who meet these nutrition recommendations. These data will be collected for Members in elementary, middle and high school. BGCA will collect these data from all Clubs.

Our Members stay healthy by staying active and making smart choices.

Our Members stay healthy by staying active and making smart choices.

We support the Healthy Lifestyles of our Members by:

  • Providing a Club Experience that appeals to youth.
  • Making all food and beverages available in the Clubs nutritious and wholesome.
  • Ensuring Staff model healthy eating and fitness practices.
  • Engaging our Members in high-yield activities centered on a healthy diet, including how to garden, what foods are good for your body, the components of a balanced diet, and how to cook.
  • Encouraging all Members to get active by participating in our Triple Play Daily Challenges.
  • Recognizing Members who practice living Healthy Lifestyles with awards like the Triple Play MVP.
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