Work, household chores, errands, baby care; there are mountains of responsibilities for new dads, so much so that any free time is spent on rest or leisure activities, and often none for physical activity.
If this sounds like you, then you may be at risk of gaining weight. And as you already know, weight gain comes with health implications of its own, such as the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But even without those complications, weight gain can make you physically slower and more tired than usual, which is definitely not something you want especially now that you have a family depending on you.
To help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, here are the best ways to incorporate more physical activity into your routine despite your busy schedule:
Do home workouts
When your spouse is at her pregnancy pilates class and you’re at home in charge of raking care of the kids, working out is probably the last thing on your mind. However, this is often a great time to get some physical activity into your routine, even if you have kids to take care of. Try some home workouts that don’t involve dangerous equipment, such as HIIT, yoga, or circuit training.
If the kids are taking a nap, much better! Take the opportunity to get some high-intensity workout or cardio without your kids asking for your attention every five seconds.
Stop driving everywhere
Driving saves time, yes, and it also saves you a lot of much-needed energy for other tasks of the day. But do you really need to drive when your destination is just a fifteen-minute walk from your house? When you’re not pressed for time, opt to walk instead of taking your car. Better yet, take your child with you so that they can also get some fresh air.
Play sports with your kids
By playing sports with your child, you hit two birds with one stone: You get to spend quality time with them, and you’re also getting much-needed exercise. Find an age-appropriate sport that both of you can enjoy. And when we say ‘play sports with your kid’, we don’t mean throwing the baseball from your lawn chair–we mean getting into it as much as your child is.
Use a bike
If your workplace is relatively close to your house, ride a bike to work instead of using the car or hopping on public transportation. Biking is a great cardio workout and will help tone your lower half. Moreover, using a bike instead of your car will help you beat the traffic when going to work, which means that you’ll be less stressed when you get to the workplace, especially when combined with post-exercise happy hormones.
Shorten your workouts
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to achieve your ideal weight. And when you’re swamped with other responsibilities at home and at work, you most likely won’t have the time to do so even if you wanted to. So when you have the opportunity to exercise, shorten your workouts to 20-30 minutes by doing high-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts.
Get a jogging stroller
When there’s no one to watch the baby (and when your spouse is too tired to do so) but you want to go out for a jog, you can make it possible by investing in a jogging stroller. A jogging stroller will allow you to get some heart-pumping cardio while spending some time with your baby, and if you’re lucky, they will fall asleep in the stroller thanks to the breeze and the movement. Moreover, a jogging stroller will give you a place to store your water bottle, keys, wallet, and phone for a more hassle-free jog.
Teach your kid how to ride a bike
If your child is old enough to learn how to ride a bike, it may be time to finally teach them. Similar to playing sports with your kids, teaching your child how to ride a bike hits two birds with one stone because you’re teaching them how to bike and getting some physical activity at the same time. Don’t think this is an effective form of exercise? Let’s see how winded you can get after running back and forth alongside your child while they learn how to ride.
Moreover, the sooner you teach them how to ride a bike, the sooner you can bike together as a fun way to exercise.
Even with a busy schedule, there is always time to exercise if you make time for it. Incorporate these tips into your routine to increase your daily physical activity. While you’re at it, ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet with the right amounts of carbs, protein, and fat.
These efforts may seem monumental when you’re a busy dad, but they will pay off in the long run when you remain healthy for your family.