Making Awesome Changes: Let's Move! Outside

SAN ANTONIO – With summer here, many kids are staying inside, watching TV, playing video games and chatting on social media.

First Lady Michelle Obama, along with the Department of Interior, is hoping to change that, and San Antonio is one of the cities they are targeting with the Let's Move! Outside initiative.

Childhood obesity is a problem across the country, especially in the Alamo City. 

The Let's Move! Outside initiative isn't so much about targeting the extra pounds but more about creating healthy habits. Participants are encouraged to play, learn, serve and work in their community.

The YMCA of Greater San Antonio is partnering with the Department of Interior on the initiative to get teens moving.

"There's been a decrease in the amount of kids and families accessing our public lands, whether it be national parks or public lands," said Matt Mitchell, chief operating officer of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.

Forty YMCA teams from various summer camps across the area met up at Mission San Capistrano Wednesday morning for some old-fashioned manual labor.

"We figure they can grow interest and grow ownership of these public lands through volunteerism, and this is the very first step towards that," Mitchell said.

The teens planted crops for the San Antonio Food Bank and pulled up weeds that are taking up areas usually occupied by native plants of Texas. Mayor Ivy Taylor even got in on the action.

The teens said they enjoyed the work.

"It’s going to sound funny coming from a kid, but I really do think we need it with all this social media and stuff," YMCA member Tajae Gambrell said.

For teens who don't plan on being outside this summer, Gambrell had a message: "It is your responsibility to also give back and also do your part in the community to give back, because the community will always give back to you regardless of what you do for the community."

Organizers said by getting outside and working in area parks, participants will not only be giving back to the community, they'll create a healthy habit too.