eNewsletter: Blue Zones Family First

What time do ducks wake up? At the quack of dawn.

Hearing dad jokes can be an eye-rolling experience, but did you know that spending time with loved ones can help you improve your health and well-being? 

Those who have lived the longest in the original Blue Zones areas of the world share common lifestyle habits called the Power 9®. Putting Family First is one of them.

Blue Zones researchers discovered that the healthiest, happiest centenarians in the world tend to build their lives around their families. Aging parents and grandparents often live with their families. Those who do tend to eat healthier, experience less stress and have fewer accidents. They also have sharper mental skills and social skills. Younger generations also benefit from the interaction and return the love and care these elders provide.

 It’s not always possible or feasible to have a multigenerational home. But there are many other ways to make family a priority:

  1. Set aside time for each other every day. Play with your children, spend quality time with your spouse, and honor your parents. Eating family dinners together is a great chance to turn off the TV and chat about everyone’s day over a healthy meal.
  2. Get moving together. After dinner, take a walk or go on a bike ride. If you have younger children, visit your local park or playground, or play a game in your backyard.
  3. Share your family history. Children love stories about when their parents were young. Display pictures of family members on a wall in your home so the kids are familiar with extended family members, too.
  4. Involve grandparents in your life. Grandparents can offer love, support, wisdom, and motivation to help younger family members succeed.
  5. Create family traditions and memories. Holidays offer a great opportunity to create memorable family traditions that bring your family closer together. When it’s not possible to physically be together, connect by zoom or facetime.

Texas Health offers employees additional tools for putting loved ones first. Family members who are eligible and have active medical coverage through your Texas Health employment can take advantage of number of wellness benefits, including: access to diabetes care, rewards for getting their Annual Wellness Exam, help with weight loss through Nutrition Coaching and the Real Appeal program and participate in and earn rewards through Virgin Pulse, the Be Healthy online wellness platform.

Even if your family members do not have coverage through Texas Health Resources, they can: get support through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP); get discount memberships to Texas Health Fitness Centers and access the Quit for Life™ tobacco cessation program. Make sure your family members are taken care of financially by keeping your beneficiary information up to date. And take advantage of the health and well-being benefits that can come from putting Family First.