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Make resolutions a family affair

Jan. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen one's spirit, mind and body. When making New Year's Resolutions, the YMCA reminds families that building and maintaining family connectedness is one of the most important resolutions.

"YMCAs across the country offer a variety of programs that support family time, such as art and cooking classes or camping and swimming, among others," according to a news release from the national organization. "There are also simple things families can do at home to improve their family's 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 may 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 to improve your health and well-being.

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 the children the value of giving.

Local YMCAs

Have you added family fitness to your list of New Year's resolutions? Here are some area YMCAs you could check out:

YMCA of Huntington West Virginia: 935 10th Ave, Huntington, WV 25701; Phone: 304-525-8127; Web: www.huntingtonymca.org/

Ashland Area YMCA: 3232 Old 13th St., Ashland, KY 41102; Phone: 606-324-6191; Web: www.ashlandareaymca.org/

Tri-County YMCA Inc.: 200 Carls Lane; Scott Depot, WV 25560; Phone: 304-757-0016; Web: www.tri-countyymca.org/

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