Published November 11, 2016
SANTA ANA PUEBLO – Encouraging healthy lifestyles among Native American youth, the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation launches NB3FIT DAY, a campaign to help promote physical activity in Native American communities across the country.
More than 10,000 young people from 110 tribes and Native American communities will promote health and fitness on Sunday, November 13. Engaging in physical activity for a minimum of one hour on this one day, youth will play volleyball, basketball, traditional games, lacrosse, bike, swim, dance and have family fun runs, to name a few activities. CLICK HERE to view a list of events near you.
This national initiative is important considering that more than one-third of Native American youth are overweight and one out of two Native children will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Regular physical activity among youth helps control weight, improve strength and endurance, build healthy bones and muscles, reduce anxiety and stress, and increase self-esteem. Consistent physical activity can also improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The HHS recommends that young people ages 6–17 participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily for the best health benefits.
“NB3FIT DAY is designed to encourage and let all our children know that physical activity and healthy lifestyles are important to a high-quality of life,” said Justin Kii Huenemann, NB3 Foundation President and CEO. “The reality is so many of our young people are not moving much these days and consuming unhealthy, low nutrient foods, resulting in increased obesity. This is quickly contributing to a life filled with significant health challenges, including type 2 diabetes, but the good news is: we can prevent it!”
The NB3 Foundation will also host its inaugural NB3FIT National Cross Country Race for youth and adults of all ages at the Santa Ana Golf Club. The event will include a 5k, 3k, 1k for ages 10 and under, and an All-Native American high school race. Click for Registration.
While NB3FIT Day focuses on youth activities, all individuals and families can join in by making a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle by taking a walk or hike, riding a bike or some other physical activity and preparing healthier meals using fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It is up to us to ensure that our Native children grow up at a healthy weight, eat right and stay active,” Huenemann said. “No one is going to do it for us. It is up to us to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.”