10 Habits for Beginning a New Health Routine


We are living in a unique time, where doing our part to protect one another means staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people. We are staying indoors to help #flattenthecurve while our doctors, nurses, grocers, police officers, and so many other essential workers continue to serve our communities.

Being home with family, especially with our children is a privilege, but it’s something that can be very daunting to many of us as we are taking on multiple roles all at once.

How do I keep them entertained? How do I create a routine? How do I balance working from home and facilitating their learning at the same time? How do I keep them happy? How can we be healthy as a family when our routine has been disrupted?


If you have asked yourself any of these questions, rest assured that you are not alone. To help all of us navigate our new current normal, here are 10 Habits for You and Your Kids to Begin a New Health Routine:

  1. Your children are looking to you. No matter how old your children are, remember that you are modeling your behaviors for them as they grow up and begin to make their own decisions. This is especially true during this time.
  2. Take this time to try new foods with them. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting some of our favorite recipes on our YMCA website. Use this time to try new recipes together. To cook together. Give that food you have not tried before (or maybe don’t even like) a chance. If they see you trying it, they might do the same!  
  3. Consider what you buy a little more. If possible, stock your kitchen with fresh veggies, colorful fruits, low fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats. We know that grocery store trips look very different these days, but when making shopping lists, consider adding more of these foods.
  4. Think healthy snacks. If you are able, keep healthier snack options available at home. When it comes to choosing our snacks, we tend to go for whatever is most convenient or visible. Help your family make healthier choices by strategically placing them. A bowl of grapes on the counter or table is hard to pass up! 
  5. Don’t forget about breakfast! Eating a healthy breakfast with lots of fiber in the morning can help set you up for success the rest of the day. Including foods from 2-3 food groups is also a plus!
  6. Stay safe - hydrate! For whatever reason, being at home, we tend to forget to drink water. Drinking water is essential for our health. As a family, choose water instead of soda or caffeinated beverages. In our family, we have found that having a reusable water bottle to fill up (especially one with a spout or straw) helps us keep drinking water throughout the day! Remember water is best!
  7. Look for opportunities to be physically active as a whole family. Find things that your family enjoys doing together like bike rides, walks, and dancing. Feel free to be creative and ask your kids for ideas of what they’d like to do to keep moving all together. Jumping jack challenge, anyone?
  8. Focus on health rather than weight! Talk about the importance of being healthy with the entire family and focus on health rather than weight. Avoid talking about the #quarentine15! 
  9. Start small. Set small achievable goals with your family that can help you make healthier choices. If you meet your goal for the week, give yourselves a reward. A fun way to involve your kids is to let them help you choose the goals and rewards. Rewards can be free activities that the child likes doing. Small steps can create big change.
  10. Stay positive! Remember to keep a positive, hopeful mindset especially in times like these. Find ways to encourage one another every day. Your outlook and perspective will help you as you choose to make healthier choices together as a family.

Over the next few weeks, we will dive into more detail about the 10 Habits for You and Your Kids to Begin a New Health Routine. Caregivers remember that your health is important too; it can be so easy to put everyone else first and forget about your health needs. Remember that prioritizing your health and well-being will help your kids in the end too! We hope these 10 habits will help you as much as they are helping us!                                                                                                                             

*Adapted from YUSA’s Healthy Living Program                                                                                                                         


Miriam Aubert
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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