One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to guys when they announce that they are soon going to be a father; exercise hard now. More often than not I get a funny look and a lack of understanding. Its okay, I have been there. But then I have also been where they will be in about ten months.
Being a new parent is hard. Aside from learning all of these new things and an increased level of responsibility for the new person you have brought into the world, your schedule takes a complete 180 flip and free time quickly becomes a thing of the past. Sleepless nights, vending machine lunches because you forgot to go shopping, and a million other things completely destroy most people’s semblance of a healthy lifestyle.
You have to cut back on parts of your life because suddenly you just don’t have the time or energy. Often times one of the first things that get shoved off to the side is health and fitness goals. Honestly it takes a while for things to shift into a comfortable new schedule that works for both you and your spouse. Plus usually people are so tired most of the time in the beginning that sleep sounds a lot better than the gym.
So what can you do to get ahead of the curve and try and keep yourself in shape?
New Dad Fitness Tips
Prepare Before the Birth – Workout as hard as you can and plan on what you can do after the baby has arrived to stay in shape around the house. Curb your expectations to at best getting in 4 hours a week of workout time.
Discover Jogging – This is one of the best activities for any parent with newborns up to age one or two. A jogging stroller is a solid investment (and usually works better than a standard stroller for general walks and outings). Running is a great cardio activity and muscle toning activity. Plus it fits easily into your schedule. If the baby wakes up early then pack him into the stroller and go for a run while your wife sleeps in. Right after work swoop the baby up and go for a run while your spouse gets some free time.
Try Insanity – Or some other similar HIIT based video series you can do at home. You need to make the most out of any workout and these HIIT training systems provide very intense workouts into short time frames which is perfect for newer parents. Working out at home skips the drive time and allows you to both workout together.
Keep Healthy Snacks Around – Granola bars, trail mix, yogurts, and fruit are great things that can be grabbed quickly for the dad on the go. Keeping your energy up is important and doing it with healthy snacks is ever more important. Always make sure to have extra water and non-perishable snacks in the car too in case you get stuck with a sleeping child.
Cook Big Meals – When you take the time to cook a healthy meal make lots of extra food. Then store it up for lunches and dinners during the week. This is much better than developing a relationship with the delivery man because he is convenient.