Andrew Smith | June 11, 2019
There is a ton of advice out there to help new moms stay fit after a baby is born, but what about the dads? Andrew Smith, one of Livekick’s male trainers and a new dad-to-be, weighs in on how to stay fit as a new dad and prevent the dreaded #dadbod.
Having a new baby is typically a huge life change, upending your schedule and crunching precious free time. But having a baby doesn’t mean you need to give up on your fitness goals. In fact, one can argue that you need fitness in your life now more than ever, not just to stay healthy and in shape, but to help you to be patient, relieve stress, and maintain your mental acuity. And it’s even possible to use the new little one as a little extra motivation and inspiration. After all who doesn’t want to be a good role model for their child?
With this in mind, here are fitness tips for new dads and dads-to-be:
You have to set yourself up for success, and that means making a schedule and doing your best to stick to it. Try to find some consistent times and days that you can commit to exercise. Put these times into your calendar. Your workouts are important meetings you’ve scheduled with yourself (or a trainer)! This may mean getting up a little bit earlier or giving up another activity. Jason Walsh, a celebrity fitness trainer who works with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Justin Timberlake, says that when dads tell him that they don’t have time to exercise he responds with: “You do have time. You just have to choose what you have time for.” Meal prep is really important as well, as you might not always have the time or wherewithal needed to cook a healthy meal when you’re placating a crying infant. By meal prepping for a few days all at once, you can make it less likely you’ll eat something you shouldn’t just because it’s the closest, easiest option available.
Sometimes one of the biggest obstacles for getting in a workout is the time it takes to get to and from the gym. By finding ways to exercise at home you can still exercise on days when you are pressed for time. This doesn’t mean you have to have your own full home gym either. You can still get a really good workout using little to no equipment. Here at Livekick we have gotten really good at utilizing whatever equipment our members have access to or simply bodyweight to get good results. OAnd once your child gets a little bit older, finding ways to incorporate them into your exercise can be fun for the both of you!. One example is squat to press, fun for baby and a good leg/shoulder/core exercise for dad.
Make it a habit of defining for yourself exactly why you want to work out. What are your fitness goals? Is it to lose weight or to gain strength or to make sure your heart isf healthy? A new child in the family can definitely add new goals to those such as, “I want to be a positive example of role model for a healthy lifestyle for my kid,” or, “I want to be able to keep up with my kids even as I get older.” Exercise can make us better fathers. That’s because exercise causes an endorphin release which leads to fewer mood swings, feelings of well being, and may even promote familial bonding. (It follows that because guys have higher levels of testosterone, workouts can promote social connection. Why do you think so many workout buddies are such good friends?) Plus, when you look and feel good about yourself and your body image, this feeling is a sure boost of confidence at a time in your life when you might need it.
So, set your exercise routine according to these tips, start putting together a great plan, and keep the “Dad Bod” at bay!