I recently became a dad and it’s changed the way I think about fitness and even the way I’m training my dad clients.
Being a dad means having a moral responsibility to be fit and healthy.
Here’s what I mean; Our kids look to us to figure out how to engage with the world.
They copy our habits both good and bad to form their own personalities and interests. That’s why we must be so intentional with the habits and behaviors we model.
I’ve worked with dozens of parents over the years and with dads in particular I see a familiar pattern.
Often they had been fit and active most of their lives, but when the kids came they threw themselves into a new role and doubled down at work in their role as providers.
This meant little or no time for the gym, which when combined with getting older, lack of sleep and those kids snacks lying around meant 10-20 extra pounds and some elevated blood pressure and the notorious dad bod.
The thing is our kids see us as superman and it hurts when we don’t feel that way about ourselves.
Now being in shape as a dad is not as easy as it was in your 20’s but it’s not impossible and in fact it’s more important now than it ever was before.
After a steady increase throughout history, the life expectancy of the American male has actually dropped over the past couple years and while there a variety of causes, the message is clear…
Men need to start prioritizing their health at a younger age.
When most dads come to work with us they are…
10-20 lbs overweight and carry fat in their midsection
Haven’t worked out consistently since they had kids
Feel run down and low on energy
And worst of all are expressing a lack of confidence in themselves.
As dads we need to prioritize our health…..
To have the energy and focus to be present for our kids,
To stick around long enough to see our grandkids grow up,
And have the confidence in ourselves to be good role models.
When we worked out in our 20’s and even early 30’s it was all about appearance and vanity, but now there’s more at stake with less time and energy to do something about it.
But just like you’ve learned to work smarter not harder in other areas of your life, being fit as a dad doesn’t have to be about spending hours in the gym.
Here are the 6 keys I teach my dad clients to be fit, confident role models.
1. Plan ahead – Workouts and healthy meals don’t happen by accident when you have kids. Plan your week or even better yet, your month ahead of time.
2. Stay flexible – As we know, kids can be chaotic so you have to be ok with shortened workouts or finding times that don’t conflict with potential kid interventions like diaper blowouts or early pickup calls for daycare.
3. Work with your partner – Sharing your health goals with your partner and finding ways he or she can support you is essential. My wife and I trade off coverage so one of us can go to the gym while the other stays with our daughter. That wouldn’t happen had we not expressed our needs and set a schedule.
4. Included your kids – Talk to your kids about why you are taking care of your health and involve them whenever possible. Kids mimic us and if they grow up around healthy habits they are much more likely to adopt them.
5. Temper your expectations – There are no perfect workouts in dad world. Kids and schedules will interrupt. You might get sick from whatever your kid brought home from daycare and things will never be optimal, but the most important thing is that you stay consistent.
6. Have goals – We humans are drawn towards outcomes so you must always have a goal to focus on to keep you interested. Yes we all want to be healthy, but how are you measuring that?
Being a parent is about selflessness but don’t confuse that with a failure to care for yourself.
When you are responsible for others, failing to take care of yourself is a selfish act.
Your kids no doubt see you as superman, but you need to feel that way too and it starts with taking care of your personal health first.
This Father’s Day I’ve put together a special offer for the dads out there to help get you back on track.
For the first 5 people that reach out, I’m giving them two FREE personal training sessions and 10% off any of our services.
All you have to do to claim this offer is click this link, book a no-sweat intro and mention the word “Dad” and we’ll hook you up with this exclusive offer.
Being a “superdad” is about making small choices dad in and day out to be healthy.
Make this Father’s Day the start of your transformation!
At your service,