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Physical Health: A Family Affair

by Kellee Williams

We are more impactful than we could ever imagine and our children listen to and watch us. As parents, we can shape their lives in ways that can last for generations. The lessons start early. I don't think I talk on the phone that much, but my two-year-old can have a full (play) conversation on my cell phone and we all know who she learned that from. They watch and our habits and behaviors make a difference.

Images of "good" physical health and it's benefits seem to surround us. We see them at the doctor's office, on bulletin boards in the work lunchroom, on television and social media, and the radio. One of the scary things about the Covid-19 pandemic is that those impacted the most are not in the best of physical health. We have been warned of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight, smoking and drinking, and lack of exercise. We need good physical health to thrive in life.

What does good physical health look like? Now, I may be a bit biased because one of the many hats I wear happens to be a Certified Personal Trainer. But for starters, let's talk about our eating habits. Yes, our kiddos are watching how we eat so let's help them develop habits early. Not only will it help them, but ultimately it will help us. I'm not going to tell you what to eat or not to, but the things we put our mouths do matter. And I will also mention that it is okay to have treats...just not too much of them. When we eat well, they eat well.

Next, good physical health looks like a momma who moves. Get it on the dance floor, the basketball court, the tennis court, the soccer field, swimming pool, or the sidewalk...just get going. The reality is, obesity is a problem in our society and we can do our part to change that. Rome wasn't built in a day and some habits will take some time to change. But we can do this! A commitment to a little movement each day can do wonders for your health and the health of your children.

Lastly, I want to mention laughter as a means of good physical health. The trainer in me won't let up, but have you ever watched a comedy and experienced a sore stomach because of all the laughter. Yes, one may say this is mental health not physical, but I think otherwise. When you can laugh and find joy, you tend to feel better physically. Even the practice of smiling and being nice can really impact your physical health. And our children reap the same life-giving benefits of laughter. A child's laughter is one of the most satisfying sounds.

Now imagine if your children incorporate healthy habits into teenage, college, and young adulthood? This isn't about looks, but about health. This is about breaking curses and creating long-lasting and generational changes. No, you cannot change your DNA, but you can be the best possible you, and you can encourage your children to do the same. Now is a great time to make physical health a family affair.

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