Fitness Tips for Harried Fathers

Gabriella BostonStaying fit is hard. Doing so as the father of young children is darn near impossible.

Note the “darn near” part. It can be done, and fathers shouldn’t use their hectic schedules as an excuse to become one with their La-Z-Boy recliner (even though that sounds fine right ’bout now). So Daddylibrium reached out to D.C.-based fitness guru Gabriella Boston for some tips on keeping in good shape during those critical toddler years.

Daddylibrium: Time is obviously a key issue for harried dads. What are some time-saving training tips you can offer?

Gabriella Boston: Try to include exercise in the daily routine. Take the stairs instead of escalators and walk to school/daycare instead of driving if at all possible. For more intense exercise – try a daily 30-minute cardio or strength-based workout BEFORE the baby/child wakes up. The 5-7 a.m. time frame is golden. Stretching – which I recommend as a daily routine – can be done while watching television or reading.

DDL: Can you recommend a good post-workout meal/snack for fathers who want to gain muscle?

GB: This is a question for a nutritionist but if you work out in the morning a breakfast that contains some protein (e.g. peanut butter) is a good idea.

DDL: Any exercises a dad can do with his children, assuming the youngsters aren’t old enough to bike ride, hike or jog quite yet?

GB: Dads can get a great workout hiking or walking with the child in a backpack carrier until the child gets to be about 40 pounds and by then maybe the child has enough stamina to walk on his or her own? Same for bike-riding and jogging.

DDL: Are there any home video workouts that are geared toward men that you’d think are helpful?

GB: Am not aware of any – but remember, anything is better than nothing. So find a routine that works for you. In other words, “What is the best workout for you? – The one you will do.”

DDL: Do you recommend fathers try to do dual workouts with their wives? Any suggestions on workouts from which both men and women can benefit?

GB: This is a hard one since parenting often means tag teaming. But if you as a couple enjoy playing tennis, for example, maybe it’s worth it to get a babysitter.  In terms of workouts both can benefit from – for women it’s a matter of doing more strength work (every year after the age of about 25 we lose muscle mass) and for men it’s often a matter of increasing the amount of cardio they do (weight management) and flexibility work (we also naturally lose flexibility as we age).

Note: Please visit Gabriella’s Facebook page for more fitness-based info, inspiration and helpful links.

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