Diary of a Dad : Week 45 - Dad-Bod?by Adam Riches
Although there is a slight craze for the dad-bod at the moment (hiya Hugh Jackman) in reality, we can't escape the fact that children are time thieves. Before kids, the gym, keeping fit and general well-being we’re so much…we’ll, easier. Once you have kids, your priorities quickly change and although some parents are really good at keeping up their routines and well-being, for a lot of us, it falls to the wayside.
I know it’s not new year, but I’ve been determined to get a bit better and I’ve really noticed the difference in my mood and energy levels recently. Although at times being active is the last thing I feel like doing, in the long run, I know it’s beneficial for me and the kids. There are a few tricks that have worked really well for me.
Gone are the days of me actually being seriously physically fit. I’m getting older and my body likes to remind me of that a lot. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been brilliant for making the most of short bursts of time exercising. If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, essentially, you work really hard for an interval and then you have a recovery interval. The idea is that your heart rate is varied and thus you burn a lot of calories. The great thing about HIIT training is it can be done with little or no equipment. You can run, cycle or cross-train and most importantly for those of us short on time, it’s quick.
Ditch the car
As crazy as this sounds, not driving a couple of places a week and walking or cycling instead makes a hell of a difference. It’s not crazy at all - we all know it but we’re confined by convenience. Replace one or two commutes a week with a bike to work and you’ll be amazed at how much difference it can make to your fitness and wellbeing. It also does take ages longer. My 10-mile drive can take 20 minutes in the car and it’s only 30-35 on my bike. Again, brilliant time saver and massively helpful.
Have a goal
It doesn’t need to be a marathon (it totally can be of course!) but having a short and longer-term goal might be what you need to motivate yourself to get up and get going. Running 5km, then running 5km in a certain time and then entering a Park Run is a simple yet effective goal-based motivation. If you can rope someone else in too, you have another motivating factor.
When you’re tired from work and the kids take ages to get to sleep, goals are what will get you wanting to go out and exercise.
Forget about the aesthetic
It’s not about combatting the dad bod really is it? It’s about being healthy and feeling good (that sounds so cliche!) Yes, a lot of us want to look how we did pre-kids, but the reality is that you’re keeping humans alive and you have a lot more stresses and pressures now. We need to remember that taking time to improve health and well-being helps everyone in the long run!