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Can Family Help You Stay Healthy?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Family is important. We're taught that family is the ultimate goal -- our forever friends and our perfect, never-ending support system. Of course, everyone's experience with family is different, but many certainly do find family to be an integral part of a happy life. But what about a healthy one? Is family important to your health? Or does family life actually detract from improving your personal wellness? To determine whether you should alter the time spent with your loved ones, take a look at how family impacts health on a basic level. 

Mental Health

Family is certainly good for mental health. Sure, sometimes family is stressful. But most of the time, they offer companionship, love, and loyalty. They offer a feeling of support that's difficult to find elsewhere. Being around family -- or loved ones in general -- is one of the best ways to improve and maintain good mental health every day.

Physical Health

Having a family can make keeping your physical health intact a little more difficult. Family -- especially children -- take up more time. And this means less time for the gym or for a workout. But having a family may also improve your motivation. You want to be around for your family, which you can only do if you're healthy. Physical health may be more difficult with family obligations, but it also becomes more important.

Tips for Including Family

If you're having trouble balancing family time with fitness time, take a look at these tips to help:

  • Make it a family affair - Take your family with you. If you need to run, take your kids to the park. If you need to lift weights, give them tiny weights. You can make it a family affair, which allows you to get a workout, teaches kids good habits, and makes for quality time as well. 

  • Do family activities - If your kids are old enough, you can just make the workout a family affair. Join a fun 5K as a family. Join a CrossFit gym that is family friendly. Swim laps -- and then play -- in the local pool. There are plenty of things that are family friendly, so find one and do a workout together.

  • Utilize the community - There was a time when everyone used community resources to get things done. If you're trying to stay fit, utilize the community. If there's a babysitting service, use it. If there's a fun run at your kid's school, do it together. If your community has a good neighborhood, use the area as a walking route. Use the community, and you're more likely to get the job done.

So What's the Consensus?

Does family help you stay fit or prevent it? The truth is that if you're determined, you'll be fit with a family and without. You'll do what it takes to take care of your body. Instead of using family as an excuse, use them as motivation. With a few good choices and some help your whole family will enjoy better health for years to come.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.

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