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.