A dad needs to find a way to become a Fit Dad
Just because your wife is gaining baby weight doesn’t mean you have to, right? For dads who think they won’t gain weight, ponder this – you will no longer have the luxury of going to the gym on your regular schedule before your baby. Your old schedule is GONE. Once your wife gives birth, your available time outside of taking care of your baby or your wife will be very precious and limited. Take a look at some successful techniques other dads have used in this lesson to become a fit dad.
In case of an emergency, please be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.
How many times have you heard that, traveling on business across the country to another meeting with another client, responsibilities piling up at the office, and your wife bearing all the burden at home. The stress starts to compound and you start to feel like you are cramped in every area. So, you spend less time on yourself and it just gets worse. How could you possibly go for a run when you have three accounts to review and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and then reloaded?
What if I told you that in order to help you focus on those accounts and have more energy at home to get those chores out of the way you had to go for that run?
Lesson 1: Dads are happier when they find time to get Fit
If you don’t believe me, it has been confirmed by the smart folks at Harvard. They conducted a focused study with 36 participants of a Wharton Executive MBA program. They all had children under the age of three and were asked to rate their satisfaction on work and life before and after making a goal of taking on modest rejuvenating and restoration activities each week. The outcome? All areas of satisfaction showed a statistically significant increase and at NO expense of each other.
What does this mean? Taking care of yourself will only improve work, family, and your personal life. A captain cannot be a good captain if he doesn’t take care of himself first.
You’re probably thinking right now “Are you serious?”
When do you expect me to fit this other thing into the million other things I have to do?
First, you are even reading this so you are motivated to do something, anything, to help get out of this rut and figure out this ever-changing puzzle of life.
Lesson 2: Create a plan
Keep a schedule or set time aside on your calendar to make time for you. “I’m going to the gym three times a week” is good but “I’m going to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on my lunch hour” is even better because not only do you know often you will go to the gym but now you know WHEN, too.
Half the battle is trying to find the space to take care of yourself.
Put it on your calendar like any client or program meeting. This will also spare you from using your precious time at home if you can fit in while at the office.
Lesson 3: Keep it simple or do what you like…but just move
Physical activities are great and obviously beneficial to your health. You want to be around for as long as possible to be with your wife and see your kids grow up into fully-formed humans with goals and dreams of their own. Free activities are great. If you have a pair of sneakers you can strap them on and go for a walk or a run. This can be indoors or outside. There’s nothing like running through the trails, getting lungs of fresh air and positive ions. If you want an easier pace, take along your favorite podcast to listen to the latest news, a comedy podcast for a laugh, or get lost in a story with Levar Burton.
Short on time? Tabata or metabolic drills are not only short but have shown you can burn fat for longer periods of time after your workout has ended. They are brutal but you can fit in a complete workout in as little as 20 minutes and you don’t need any equipment if you choose bodyweight.
How about a yoga flow? We sit at a desk for so long during the day that a good stretch for your muscles as well as the core strength building moves is a double win. There are also good old fallback activities like lifting weights joining a softball or baseball team, playing racquetball, or even golf. Whatever gets you up and moving and interested enough to stick with is what you should aim for.
Maybe you are fortunate enough to have a gym in your home or garage or you have always wanted one. Companies like Bowflex and TotalGym have so many options now that you can put the benefits of all that equipment into one machine and not have to get in the car and drive somewhere to do it. They are massive time-savers for those who prefer to hit the weights.
Lesson 4: Come on, it’s time to eat right
Nutrition is a big and the main key in keeping fit.
Let’s face it, we aren’t 20 years old anymore and eating junk out of the vending machine not only makes you feel sluggish but your pants won’t fit for long either.
Be sure to hit your protein, carbohydrate, and fat ratios in reasonable ways with real food. Not a cook? Meal delivery services will send you all the ingredients measured out and have handy recipe cards that are simple to follow. There are so many options now that if you’re vegan or Paleo or just want to try something different, there is a fit for you.
Picking one or two different options to try during your time might be a fun way to start and keep it from becoming another chore that you will feel like you have to do. You might find you settle into a routine that you enjoy and look forward to, gaining even more benefit from it.
Lesson 5: Find a program and let someone else do the thinking for you
It can seem overwhelming to try and think of all of this at once and you probably aren’t getting much sleep on top of it. What am I supposed to eat? How much can I eat? What exercises are going to get me real results? Luckily, there is a program designed specifically for dads over the age of 40 to help us lose fat, gain muscle, and get in the best shape of our lives.
The Fit Father Project (https://www.fitfatherproject.com/) was born from Dr. Anthony Balduzzi’s desire to ensure other dads would be as healthy as possible to be around for their families after the devastating loss of his own father. This is a brotherhood of men like us who want to lead healthy lives.
The Fit Father 30-Day Program uses three steps for results: you will get a simple meal plan so you don’t have to even think about it (and the food is actually good), fast and safe workouts to follow, and accountability via e-mail coaching help you stick to the program. No excuses are even possible with this because they hand you all the tools. Over 11,000 fathers can’t be wrong.
Disclaimer: By signing up with fitfatherproject from the link above, we do get small commission. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, but it does help us continue to create great articles such as this. You do not have to sign up for the fitfather program, you can find alternative programs that meet your needs, this is just an example of a program that we happen to like.
Lesson 6: Everyone is different, do what’s best for you
It is impossible to create a specific tailored plan over the internet and have it work for everyone. Every person is different. Every dad is different. Some dads are unable to workout hard due to previous injuries; some dads can go run a marathon.
What we are asking of you Dad is to put down the tv remote and tv dinners. Move around, find a routine, eat better – don’t be lazy.
Check with your doctor if you are unsure about anything. Check with your nutritionists about your diet. But go do something, do not just sit there!
Our time is precious, make the most of it
What we do in our time for ourselves will trickle down into the other areas of our lives. The more we have time to recharge from the hectic pace of work and just living your life, the better chance we have at staying physically and mentally healthy enough to take care of our family and that is the whole point of this beautiful, crazy ride.
A message from your future Fit Dad Self
Now, you are probably thinking, that’s a lot of hard work. Let me tell you this, you are right. But you know why it was easy for me? It’s because I decided to do it and stick with it. I did not say maybe I’ll do it or I’ll do it later. I said, I’m going to do this and I’m starting now. Then every day, I told myself, I am making time to become fit and I will do it. Look at me now, I’m a Fit Dad!
So get off your arse and commit brah.