As an active father handling a couple of restless younglings on a daily basis, you’ve sure got your hands full. Add to that the stress of running a household and providing for your family, and you have a pretty hectic schedule with very little leeway when it comes to personal pleasures. That said, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways you can kick-start your fitness journey and become fit, healthy, and happier than ever before.
After all, you’re not the kind of parent to sport that notorious dad-bod, are you? If you want to shape a physique you can be proud of and be an example for your kids, here’s what you need to do to get fit and stay fit no matter how hectic your schedule might be.
List your goals and your reasons for getting fit
Every success story started with a strong battle plan, so it’s important that you identify the why, the how, and the when of your fitness journey in order to find the motivation to start exercising and eating healthy. Make your goals as specific as possible. Start with your long-term goals such as losing weight, putting muscle on your frame, or increasing your cardiovascular endurance.
Next, think of the ways you can achieve this. You can take up running, you can exercise at home, or you can build yourself a gym in the basement – the important thing is to know how you’re going to achieve your goals. And lastly, figure out when you’re going to devote the time to achieve them. Pro tip: early in the morning while everyone’s asleep is probably the best time to get a quick workout in.
Start exercising at home when you have the time
Speaking of, now that you have figured out when you have the time to work out (it can also be late at night when everyone is tucked in), you should figure out the safest way to start. This means easing into a new workout program so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and abandon your fitness goals altogether.
Keep it light and enjoyable, but continue to add the intensity as the weeks progress. You can start working out in your living room with the “equipment” you have, such as the couch and the armchair until you’re ready to take your workouts outside with the rest of the gang.
Take fitness into the outdoors with your family
One of the easiest ways to combine quality time with your kids and work towards achieving your long-term fitness goals is to treat it like a family excursion and take your workouts into the great outdoors. Make sure everyone is warmed up and ready to take on the challenge, and don’t forget to make it fun for the kids by adding interesting exercises aside from running and jumping.
You also need to protect yourself and your kids from the elements, especially if you’re exercising in cold weather. Cold and weather resistant athletic wear such as puffer jackets are excellent at protecting the upper body from moisture and other elements, while insulating bottoms such as leggings are perfect for keeping your knee joints safe and healthy. Bring plenty of fresh water with you and you have everything you need to make your outdoor workouts with the family fun and rewarding.
Tidy up your nutrition and prep meals in advance
Nutrition is an inextricable part of fitness, so you can’t hope to banish your dad-bod and sculpt an enviable physique by just pounding at the weights or running all day long – you need to tidy up your diet as well. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to get your bearings when it comes to nutrition.
Simply calculate your daily caloric expenditure and then increase or decrease your caloric intake depending on your goals. Stick to healthy foods and banish all unhealthy temptations from your fridge and your pantry. Increase your protein intake to maintain and grow muscle mass, and be sure to start preparing your meals several days in advance to ensure your diet is on track.
Stay consistent and accountable by being a role model
So, at the end of the day, how do you stay consistent for the long haul? Simply, by making yourself accountable. The easiest way to do that is to take a look at your children. You are their role model, you are their father, a figure they adore above everything else.
You need to be an example for your children and teach them the values of consistency and persistence in life. Teach them the value of healthy living, and use your fitness journey to motivate them to get off the couch and embrace a life imbued with health, positivity, and day-long zeal.
Your day-to-day routine might be a bit of a mess, but everyone has 10-15 minutes for a quick workout. Use these tips to kick-start and maintain your fitness lifestyle, and most importantly, instill positive values into developing hearts and minds of your children.