Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
We pretty much all understand the benefits of getting and staying fit, but doing so is difficult at the best of times – but it’s even more difficult when you’re a dad.
With all of the demands that being a dad brings with it, sticking to a fitness routine is often one of the things that becomes a secondary thought.
And while this is understandable, it’s important that you make time for fitness and keep fit. Remember, this is not just for your sake, but those extra years of being active will be appreciated by your family and kids as well.
Not only will you likely live longer, but your kids will likely try to emulate what they see – so if they see their dad keeping fit, they’ll likely get into fitness as well when they can, and that’s fantastic.
So, if you’re looking for some tips to get fit and stay fit as a busy dad – here’s what you can do.
1. Prepare: Write Your Plan
One of the biggest driving forces behind dads getting fit and staying fit is listing the reasons this is important to them. It will be these reasons that will give the motivation to not only get started, but to keep going.
Any time you feel you’re struggling to keep up with your fitness goals, always refer back to the list and you’ll be amazed at how you are able to keep going!
2. Give Yourself Achievable Goals
When it comes to planning any fitness goals, you’ll want to make sure that they’re achievable and realistic. However, when it comes to being a busy dad – what is achievable to some may not be realistic for you.
So, understand your time restrictions and list out basic, attainable goals such as “I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of X month”.
These types of goals are known as SMART targets and they will be your rule book when it comes to keeping going with your exercise program. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
3. Slow Steps, Begin At Home
Money can be tight as a dad, so it would be crazy to go spending your hard-earned dollars straight away on a gym membership, especially when you haven’t been involved in fitness or exercise for some time.
So, try to start from home. You can set yourself some fitness tasks to do and keep a list of what you’ve done. This record will help you to maintain these goals which are crucial when it comes to keeping your fitness routine going.
4. Consistency Of 30
Fitness requires determination and hard work, but most of all — it needs consistency to see any sort of results. We recommend setting a goal for yourself of 20-30 minutes a day, 6 days a week. A consistent, but not super time consuming, routine is all you need and the key component of a Qwik fitness route.
However, if you cannot do 30 minutes right away, that’s okay! Start slowly but maintain a routine, and then gradually increase the duration as you are able to.
5. Find A Fitness Buddy
Support for the tough times is critical and if you can find a fitness buddy your goals will become much more achievable and you’ll likely have more fun.
Additionally, having a buddy to hold you accountable will give you that extra bit of confidence and the drive to ensure you do the exercises.
6. Keep A Journal
A fitness journal that outlines your plans, your achievements, and your food diary will be very critical for when you need to keep going. Seeing what you’ve done and planning for the next day make things much easier for you.
When we see where we started and how far we’ve come, we give ourselves some extra motivation to achieve more and further our goals.
Keeping good notes on your progress is not only good to see your gains, but it also can be used as a reference if you need to change your plans or even visit a doctor – you can refer to your workout and diet journal for more information and better future planning.
7. Don’t Cut The Junk Out Right Away
While cold turkey works for some people, it’s not usually sustainable – and sustainability is what we’re looking for when it comes to remaining consistent and staying fit.
So, if you’re a person who enjoys eating junk food now and again, that’s okay – you don’t need to cut everything out of your diet right away. Instead, try transitioning in a progressive way.
Add some very healthy, nutritional meals into your weekly diet, and every so often, cut one of your junk food items out. Over time, you’ll have no bad foods left in your diet, apart from maybe the very occasional treat!
8. Always Research For More Information
For people who want to progress with their fitness goals, it’s great to do a lot of it yourself and sometimes you’ll want to know more.
However, some people end up stagnating and sticking to what they know. If you want to push forward and achieve more, you will benefit most from frequent research.
This does not necessarily just mean reading books or googling things – although those methods will certainly help – but speaking to experts and professionals will benefit you greatly.
If you do join a gym, consider speaking with a personal trainer and learning from some of their experiences. Believe it or not, many personal trainers started off just like you!
Speak with your doctor and even your friends if they are into fitness. The more you know, the better you will progress!
9. Never Forget Why You’re Doing This
It could be so easy to just throw it all away and go back into a lazy life of junk food, alcohol, and watching TV – and the thoughts of doing just this will likely creep into your mind a few times, especially in the early days.
When this happens though, you need to just keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll be doing this for yourself and also for your family.
Living longer and getting your kids interested in fitness at an early age has huge benefits. Think of these:
- You’ll likely live longer = more time with your kids
- You’ll feel better physically
- You’ll likely look better
- You’ll have reduced stress
- Your sleep may improve
- And you’ll be setting a great example for your kids to follow!
What To Remember
So, with all of these points we’ve raised, you’ll likely be thinking about what are the most important things to remember and what are the main takeaways from all this.
Here’s what you should remember:
- Consistency is key – never give up
- Any exercise is better than none. Always have achievable goals
- You may find it easier with a fitness buddy
- Always keep a journal of your progress
- Progress will be better with a healthy, balanced diet
- Continue to research and learn more about fitness and dieting
The Bottom Line
Being a dad isn’t the easiest job, but it is certainly one of the most rewarding. In order to make things much more rewarding though, you’ll want to kick off your fitness journey as soon as possible and stick to it.
If you ever struggle in your journey, always remind yourself why you are doing it which will give you that drive to keep on going!