The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen the spirit, mind and body.
When making New Year's resolutions, the YMCA Wellness Center at St. John Arena is reminding families that building and maintaining family connectedness are among the most important resolutions.
"At the Y, we are committed to strengthening individuals and families to build stronger communities," said Michelle Wilson, the center's director.
"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 center offers a variety of programs that support family time, such as family gym time, healthy family day and fitness classes and also simple things families can do at home to improve their family's health and well-being, according to Wilson.
The following are five New Year's resolutions the Y recommends for 2013:
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.
Giving back and supporting neighbors benefit everyone involved. It teaches children and teens the value of helping others and also is a way to meet new people or discover a new interest.
Find an opportunity in your community that the entire family can enjoy, such as volunteering at the YMCA, cleaning a neighborhood park or distributing food at a local food bank.
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, take a trip to the park or have a game night at home. If you do want to watch television, try a movie night with the family.
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.
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 also can get the entire family involved and demonstrate to the children the value of giving.
For more tips or to learn about the center and its programs, call (740) 264-7183 or visit www.ymcanet.org