Five healthy habits that will change your life  

This time of year, you’re probably in one of two camps – your New Year’s resolution is either firmly in place and you’re achieving your health and fitness goals, or you need a hand to get back on track.

Whatever your goals, introducing simple healthy habits into your family’s daily routine will help keep you motivated to make better health and fitness choices. MyFirstGym’s Kowhai Te Kira recommends introducing these five must-dos into your daily or weekly plans.


Get back to nature every day

Don’t underestimate the feeling of getting outside come rain or shine. If it’s cold, rug up and head outside anyway. In a world where we go from the office, to the gym, to home, and our children go from school to home, we need to consciously build in ‘outside time’ into our schedules. Take the kids, and/or the dog, or use it as your daily ‘me time’ and walk around your neighbourhood, or on one of our local tracks or parks, or visit the beach.


Get back to the books

Children grow up loving books. Encourage this habit to continue with a family reading list; select a few books and display them visibly in the family room. Children are curious and are more likely to engage with something if it is visible and accessible. It’s a great way of normalising reading. A good tip for stocking up on your books is to ask family to buy books for occasions such as birthdays and Christmas, or organise regular book swap events with friends.


Introduce a ‘no-tech zone’

Some families are introducing tech-free days into their week to get the family. As a start, I would suggest making the family room a place to only enjoy face-to-face time with no tech distractions. As parents, we can be the worst ones for responding to emails and notifications instantly, with our phone constantly pinging and vibrating, so plan to set an example. When you’re in the family room, switch to silent or leave your phone/tablet in another room. Just an hour a day could change how your family communicates.


Move every day

Build exercise or movement into as much of your day as possible. At home, at work, in the garden, or even at the supermarket, think of how you can move more. Things like walking the children to school instead of driving or getting the kids to count their steps in the supermarket could help – it will make them more aware of moving their bodies. Introducing games into every day chores is a good way to keep them motivated, too. Any incremental change you can make, will make you all feel better.


Practise plastic-free living

Most supermarkets are promoting reusable bags and recycling of our soft plastics. Start with eliminating plastic bags and drink bottles in your household and go from there. By swapping out just one household item you will make a difference.


  • Kowhai Te Kira is the Club Manager of MyFirstGym in Ferrymead. MyFirstGym offers classes for children aged 7 months to 13 years, which build children’s confidence, imagination, problem-solving ability and social skills through fun activities, fitness courses, and exercises.