Updated: Apr 20
Having kids changes things, no wait…having kids changes everything! We quickly neglect our own health to look after others, but looking after yourself is looking after your family. Here’s 12 fitness tips for busy Dads to live an active and healthy life.
It all starts with what you eat
How often do you hear this? The more I speak to Dad’s my age they already know the choices they should make when it comes to food but are in a habit and cycle that’s hard to break. Making the change to healthier food options is a long term journey not an overnight shock which usually doesn’t stick. If you really need direction, a nutritionist or dietician is a great place to start.
Make smarter commuting or parking choices
This is better for you and better for the environment. If you are an office worker, get off the bus a stop or two before your stop and walk to work, park a few blocks away from your work or clients office or ride the bike.
Create a fit space at home
Creating a space at home that encourages exercise and overall wellbeing is a great way to incorporate activity into your day. This also encourages the kids to join in. Online marketplaces are a great place to pick up cheap unwanted gym and fitness equipment to kit out your area. Making time in the afternoon after work with the kids to train before the hustle of dinner, baths and homework begins removes the stresses of the day for an enjoyable evening.
Find new friends
What impact are your friends having on your overall health and wellbeing? A huge factor on change is your environment. Breaking away from the pack is a great feeling of achievement but hard to maintain unless you find a new pack! Your journey is difficult if ventured alone. Reach out to new people and get connected, it will be much easier to stay on track with the right people around you.
Join a gym, or find a new one
Gym’s can be intimidating beasts if you don’t frequent one. Guess what though, the people at these gym’s are people, just like you and me! It’s important to find a gym and environment that suits you and your goals. Some key tips for your gym choice are:
Keep it local and convenient to get to.
Do they have a kids creche or area for your kids to chill while you sweat? Working out and taking the kids will earn brownie point’s with your better half!
Group classes and Pt’s play a part in kickstarting your journey
Being referred in helps with the membership costs
Join with a buddy, you will keep each other motivated
See a Personal Trainer
In our twenties we could float around the gym with little effort and get the gains and keep the weight off. Our bodies change as we age and getting results is a lot harder. A Personal Trainer is a great way to get some individual guidance and support to keep you on track and get progress.
Ask your PT if they do group PT sessions so you can stay on track with friend and other people.
See your GP and Healthcare Professional
If you are very new to exercise and want to start it’s best to get a health check with your GP. Getting the all clear is reassurance to know those intervals where your soul is left on the gym floor won’t knock you in a negative way! Old injuries can play havoc on our thoughts so best to see an exercise physiologist to get some advice on what you can do or should avoid when starting out.
Try new things
Monday chest and tri’s, Wednesday back and bi’s right?!? Resistance training is great and I definitely recommend it. When we are time poor we need to look at adapting our training to fit it in. Those group fitness classes aren’t just for the young girls in Lulu! There seems to be a new park popping up in Australia every week with great exercise equipment that gets you outdoors and sweating it out. Park run is a global free 5km event run every Saturday.
Ask for help
I get, I’m here to. Male and stubborn. Pick up the phone and call a mate. Dad’s genuinely want to help Dad’s and will always find the time to listen and guide. You’ll be surprised where the conversation goes.
Finish work early one day a week.
Choose one day a week to finish work earlier for a workout. Make this time up other days so you don’t have the guilts when you leave an hour earlier from work. Use this time as ‘me’ time. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you are during that early knock off day before exercising!
Set a goal or enter an event
We hear this a thousand times with work or business. But how many of us really set a goal and plan towards it for our personal life or health? By setting a goal (stick to the SMART principle) you will stay motivated and on track. There are plenty of entry level taster events that can involve your kids as well Such as True Grit or Spartan which have races for adults and kids.
Unless exercise is a part of your weekly routine it will be very hard to stick. Saying “I’ll get to gym sometime this week” will have you end up not going at all. Instead, saying “I’m going to gym Wednesday this week” and having it in your diary is a much greater chance it will stick.
Don’t know where to start? Hit me up, I’ll be that mate you can call for a chat.