95210 for Good Health

Looking for an easy way to stay on track with family fitness goals? Think 95210 for good health. Learn how these 5 little numbers add up to a well balanced lifestyle.

Think 95210 – 5 Numbers for Good Health

The 95210 approach for good health started over a decade ago through a partnership between INOVA Health Systems and local school districts. Winchester’s Valley Health Wellness Services has been promoting the plan since 2012. Pre-Covid, Wellness Services spread the word through attending local health and resource fairs as well as its own Wellness Festival held at the local mall. This year the festival was held virtually in March. 

So what do the numbers “95210” mean when it comes to your child’s good health? They represent an important component for fighting childhood obesity and developing life-long healthy habits. Each number is tied to an important aspect of good health involving nutrition, activity, and sleep.

What the 5 Numbers Mean

Although 95210 is geared to children, adults can definitely take these tips to heart for good health.

9 Hours of Sleep: Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But it’s important for good health, even for busy teenagers. Valley Health Wellness Services Clinical Dietician Katlyn Frye explains why so much sleep is necessary. “There’s a lot more to it,” says Ms. Frye, “but not getting enough sleep causes issues with the hypothalamus which regulates appetite and energy expenditure.” And when you’re tired, you have a tendency to eat those “snacky” foods filled with carbs and sugars.

Healthy Eating Kids Health
Photo Credit: Jill Wellington

5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables: While it’s important to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables for children to try, if they have a favorite then go with it. And kids are often more inclined to explore new foods if they’ve had a voice about what’s being served.  Ms. Frye also suggests “eating the rainbow” for good health. Incorporating an assortment of color livens up your plate. And those different colors also represent the important nutrients each fruit or vegetable offers. Bring that rainbow home with a CSA subscription from a local farm. Or try your hand at a vegetable garden.

2 Hours Only of Screen Time: And that includes television, too. According to a 2018 study by the American Heart Association, kids were spending as much as 7 hours a day in front of an electronic device. One positive effect of the COVID pandemic, says Tracy Mitchell, Valley Health’s Corporate Director of Community Health and Wellness Services, is that families have been engaged in more activities, especially outdoors. Putting down the device offers other benefits as well, says Ms. Mitchell. “It gives you a chance to connect with others, connect with nature and be active and present in the world.”

More 95210 for Good Health

1 Hour of Physical Activity: Replace one of those screen time hours with some physical activity. Wellness Services recently received an enormous response to a contest for Valley Health employees, with folks sending in photos of their families engaged in a wide range of physical activities. 

Outdoor play and exercise
Photo Credit: Alexandr Podvalny

So what’s the best way to get your kid moving for good health? “Give them a choice,” says Ms. Mitchell. “If it’s an activity that they enjoy, then they’re more likely to keep doing it,” And when boredom sets in, mix it up. Play a scavenger hunt in the park, suggests Ms. Frye. “It’s all about environment and interaction,” she says. Looking for some new parks to explore? Then head over to Action on the VA Kids Trail.

And on the days you can’t get outside, try the Fitness Deck. Each suit of cards represents an exercise. Learn more about indoor fitness with Valley’s Health Educator Courtney Miller. Valley Health also offers family memberships at its Fitness & Wellness Center in Winchester (good for ages 12+). And if you have a budding athlete in the family, you’ll want to check out the Parisi Speed School for youth performance training.

0 Sugar Added Drinks: From tooth decay and obesity to diabetes, sugary drinks can play havoc on our health. And while some folks may switch over to the diet version, there can be adverse effects from the artificial sweeteners as well. Try enhancing the flavor of H2O with an infusion of your favorite fruit or vegetable. And don’t forget to include fruits and vegetables with high water content, like melons – another great way to hydrate and stay healthy.

Celebrate 95210 for Good Health with Sprouts

Blue Ridge SproutsThe Shenandoah Valley is known as Virginia’s breadbasket. Make plans to celebrate your own 95210 for good health with Blue Ridge Sprouts Family Food Festival this November at West Oaks Farm Market. The VA Kids Trail and its sister community, Taste of Blue Ridge, will bring together individuals and businesses supporting the locally sourced food movement and the robust lifestyle of the Valley and nearby Blue Ridge. Plan for a full day of contests, demonstrations, interactive exhibits and more. Tickets go on sale in August. In the meantime, keep up to date with festival plans with Taste’s Foodie Newsletter.