Perhaps the best part of summer is that it’s so easy to get out of the house and get active. But step outside on a nice summer day and you might start to wonder, “Where is everybody?” The demands and distractions of our modern world make it too easy to sit around all day, and this behavior is killing us. Literally.

About a decade ago, Dan Buettner and National Geographic led a study of several “blue zones,” where the longest-living people on Earth exemplify nine core traits, among them a commitment to physical activity, spirituality and healthy diet.

Buettner’s Blue Zones traits have been top of mind for Transform Rockford’s Healthy Lifestyle’s spoke team. They know it’s critical in a state where fully one-third of adults and one-sixth of our kids are overweight.

We don’t fare any better in Rockford, where Winnebago County ranked 97th among Illinois counties in health outcomes, according to a national County Health Rankings study. Our health behaviors, our socioeconomic factors and our physical environment all contribute to an overall lack of true wellness and a predominance of chronic disease.

If Rockford is going to rise to the top, it’s time to start reversing course. How do we do that? It starts when we get up, get active and take charge of our personal wellness.

That’s just what Transform Rockford plans to do with its upcoming Move More Pop-Up event, happening Wednesday, July 24, at the newly refurbished Davis Park. Join this free activity from 5:30 – 7:30 PM and start to make a healthier you.

In the meantime, here are four ways you can move more, Rockford!

  1. Attend the Move More Pop-Up Event

Move More draws together Transform Rockford, the YMCA, the Rockford Park District and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for a morning of fun. There’s a special Kids’ Zone, where park district staff have a lineup of activities geared toward the youngins.

Moms and dads, meanwhile, really “kick” things off with an hourlong body attack workout, followed by “urban line dance.”

  1. Return for Wellness Wednesdays

Consider Move More just a taste of what’s to come, because every Wednesday for the next six weeks you can catch the action again, right in Davis Park. Instructors from the YMCA will return each week with combat classes, urban line dance and other fun sessions that’ll get your family active.

  1. Engage with the YMCA

All year long, the Y’s four local branches have a full lineup of activities for all ages. The latest Fun Fit Kids session puts youngsters in a strength training and body conditioning course that’s fun and engaging, no matter your athletic talents.

This September, the Y launches a Healthy Weight and Your Child class aimed at families whose kids are in the 90th percentile for BMI. Together, they’ll learn healthy habits to grow out of their excess weight.

Of course, there are plenty of activities for adults, and there’s much more to enjoy with a Y membership, from swimming pools and an indoor track to basketball courts and fitness equipment. No sitting around here!

  1. Just Move

Centenarians are more likely to make physical activity a part of their everyday lives, from something as mundane as cleaning the house to something more meaningful, like walking to the store. Given our city’s amazing green spaces, including bike trails, neighborhood playgrounds, natural areas, pools and rivers, it’s incredibly easy to hike, bike, swim or kayak for fun or for business. And, if all else fails, just go for a walk (and take the kids)!

Take the first step and join us at the Transform Rockford Move More Pop-Up event on Wednesday, July 24!