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Doctor's tip for staying active: do fitness as a family

Dr. Jarbou suggests doing an activity an family members enjoy for physical fitness. (KRCG)

August is Role Modeling Month, and doctors say lifelong fitness habits can trickle down from parents to kids.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health pulmonologist Dr. Mohammad Jarbou about the importance of being active as a family.

He said staying fit can help improve everyone's personal quality of life -- but it can also improve family dynamics. "Doing it together is always great as a family, for family relationships, improving bonding between parents and kids," he said.

Dr. Jarbou said being active doesn't have to be complicated; however, it can require thinking a little outside the box. "To get ten minutes, ten to fifteen minutes a day, you have to be creative," he said. "If you can hit the gym, great. If not, you can use the stairs, you can walk, you can walk at lunch time, just make it a habit."

He said encouraging your family to be active starts with choosing the right activity. It's all about choosing something you won't skip out on: "Clear answer for me is always any exercise you'll do and continue doing," he said. "From walking together, hiking, biking, even dancing... As a family, it's a fun activity and it's good exercise."

Dr. Jarbou said a little time spent exercising together every day pays off big in the end, both when it comes to physical fitness and family relationships. "You don't have to do it for an hour or two hours. Again, get ten to fifteen minutes a day. Have it fun, have something fun between parents and kids to enjoy," he said.

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for the next Family First segment - we'll talk to a psychologist about the best way to teach kids how to be kind at all ages.

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