Connect with us

5 Tips For Maintaining Fitness As A Father

Image Source: Kuznetsov Dmitriy / Shutterstock


5 Tips For Maintaining Fitness As A Father

We’re all familiar with the archetypal scene of a toddler perched atop their father’s shoulders as he mimics a steed or another hefty creature, a delightful tableau that we fathers cherish as part of our journey. It’s implicitly understood that the larger our children grow, the more challenging it becomes to emulate that energetic, burden-bearing father with an expanding youngster clinging on. Observe a few episodes of Bluey, and you’ll be struck by the recognizable moments of parenting demonstrated by Bluey’s father, Bandit, joyously enduring what is essentially physical torment for the sake of his offspring’s amusement. Everyone revels in this scenario, but it’s considerably tougher in the realm of reality.

Physical exercise remains a crucial component of life, particularly for dads who yearn to remain active alongside their children into their adult years, hoping to one day entertain grandchildren. Notwithstanding, the median age of new fathers in the United States has escalated from 27.4 to 30.9 from 1972 to 2015, indicating that fathers are becoming older. Nevertheless, when fatherhood commences, keeping and frequently utilizing a fitness club membership turns increasingly challenging and less feasible.

I’ve observed my dad, a grandparent to four young girls, lift the eldest, an 8-year-old, and cradle her as if she were an infant, simply because she wanted to be treated equally to her siblings and cousins. Though this act has never left his back the same, he has exemplified this kind of robust engagement since my youth: a fatherly role model undaunted by strenuous effort, regardless of exhaustion.

There exist numerous persuasive arguments for incorporating exercise into our routines. Fundamentally, all sorts of physical workouts enhance cortisol levels (boosting metabolism) and induce the release of endorphins (simplifying the concept, it induces happiness). Despite a craving to recline on a sofa with snacks, it’s immensely more beneficial for the family’s overall wellbeing to opt for sneakers over house slippers. Hence, as we forge conduct for our offspring, keeping physically fit, both individually and collectively, is of tremendous significance.

Here are my methods for maintaining fitness as a dad while exemplifying the significance of an active lifestyle to my progeny.

1. Bicycle Excursions

Recreational bicycling has long been a favored method of staying fit, prompting my sole addition to our baby wishlist: a kid’s bicycle seat affixed above the cycle’s back wheel. I haphazardly selected the Bell COCOON 300 Child Bicycle Carrier; despite the fact that setting it up was exasperating, it has led to numerous enjoyable cycling ventures with my daughter.

“Given her inherent fondness for outdoor play, it’s a breeze to persuade her to accompany me on cycling or walking trips; a simple invitation suffices,” shared a fellow father and cycling enthusiast.

Whether employing a bike trailer or a supplementary seat, bringing your child along for bicycle rides sows the seeds of excitement and adventure within them. Portraying the activity as a beneficial workout for the father and presenting it as an appealing pursuit can motivate them to emulate the practice and wish to cycle independently when they mature. You might witness a period when they pedal their bicycle while you jog by their side.

2. Trekking

Embarking on hikes with youngsters definitely leans towards the ambitious side, yet their innate inquisitiveness about the natural environment might cause you to reconsider your views. Refrain from attempting long treks with children, particularly when they’re in the toddler or elementary school phases.

“Part of my appreciation for hiking/camping is the tranquility and silence of being amidst nature, something that’s unattainable with babies or toddlers,” confided a father I conversed with, who had previously traversed the full length of the Appalachian Trail. Nevertheless, persisting with short treks and youngsters perched on your shoulders can gradually cultivate their appreciation for such pursuits as they grow older. Even if hiking isn’t precisely your cup of tea, engage in it, opting for the most accessible trails nearby. The least favorable outcome could be merely gathering twigs a stone’s throw from the parking space.

3. Yoga

While achieving a state of tranquility in yoga sessions with a toddler may be an unrealistic expectation, adapting and embracing the whimsicality can transform it into an entertaining and comical form of exercise. A toddler’s balance won’t be commendable until later years, yet they might astonish you with their dedication to elementary poses like Downward Facing Dog, coupled with impressive flexibility. (My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter shows particular fondness for the three-legged dog and experiments with headstands.)

My spouse, a proficient yoga instructor, oversaw an after-school yoga program for middle schoolers who largely spent their time chuckling at one another. Yet, as long as they partake in the movements, they are actively exercising. The atmosphere markedly contrasts from an adult-only class; however, including your child in your yoga practice, even if briefly, for a few morning moments can be beneficial.

4. Trampoline Centers

As your offspring reach their toddler years, jumping becomes an ever-increasing fascination. We possess a modest-sized trampoline with a handle in our apartment, and several of our kin own large, yard-based trampolines. If you too decide to acquire your entrance ticket for a trampoline center and don those specialized jumping socks, your children’s joy will be palpable. Many parents choose to spectate from a distance, but actively participating can significantly enrich both the interaction and the activity, plunging together into a foam cube pit.

5. Transforming Household Tasks into Fun

Numerous home tasks, ranging from simple DIY ventures to garden labor, equate to physical exertion; tidying up fits the profile too. Children can be involved in myriad chores suitable for their age. Markets are teeming with ‘toy’ versions of brooms, shovels, and tools, and integrating these tasks into their routine early on can lead your offspring to eagerly “assist” with whatever you’re engaged in. Admittedly, they won’t always find the task enjoyable; however, their inherent curiosity often compels them to grasp and partake in whatever you’re doing.

“I maintain an optimistic outlook despite their occasional disinterest, which occurs quite a bit,” another dad mentioned. “When that arises, I explore how I can ease them into their preferred activities or simply allow them to occupy themselves with something else.”

More in Parenting

To Top