The new year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen one's spirit, mind and body.
The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City reminds families that building and maintaining family connectedness is one of the most important resolutions.
“At the Y, we are committed to strengthening individuals and families to build stronger communities,” said Kelly Kay, vice president. “When making New Year's resolutions, we encourage people to begin with small changes that are easy to sustain and that lead to big benefits over time. Also, set goals as a family to learn and thrive together.”
The Y offers a variety of programs that support family time, such as Adventure Guides, Family Camp, Family Nights and Family Zumba classes. There are also simple things families can do at home to improve health and well-being. Following are five New Year's resolutions the YMCA recommends for 2013:
Eat together: Sitting down together for a meal is a great way for parents and children to share stories, or talk about the school day or their favorite part of the day. Set aside time for the family to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once a week or every day if scheduling permits.
Volunteer together: Giving back and supporting neighbors benefits everyone involved. It teaches children and teens the value of helping others and is also a way to meet new people or discover a new interest. Find an opportunity in your community that the entire family might enjoy, such as cleaning your neighborhood park or distributing food at a local food bank.
Unplug from technology: Limit screen time (television, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an hour or two for activities that allow interaction and camaraderie. If weather permits, go for a walk, bike ride, trip to the park, or have a game night at home. If you do want to watch television, maybe have a movie night with the family.
Be physically active: It's important for children to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day (30 minutes for adults). Incorporate physical activity into your daily routines and spend more time walking to places instead of driving.
Put extras to good use: Do you have extra canned goods or clothes that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs. You can also get the entire family involved and demonstrate to children the value of giving.
Dena Drabek is director of communications for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.
TO LEARN MORE
For more tips or to learn more about the Y's family time programs, go to www.ymcaokc.org.