We are all busy, especially as Fathers and Parents. Our time is limited and as we have so many conflicting demands on our time, it’s often our own health needs that are sacrificed. But if you’re anything like me, you want to avoid putting on some extra weight after your baby is born. It’s a common fact that men sometimes put on a bit of additional weight post birth!
It’s not just that extra tyre that you’ll be looking to avoid putting on, your overall health is very important. It’s more important than your financial situation, career progression and material acquisitions but for some reason it’s one of those things that can easily be taken for granted until it’s gone. I remember a few years back having issues with my digestive system and not being able to hold food down for a couple of months. It got to the point were I was bed ridden for a few days with the pain and all I was thinking was that I wish I was well enough to be able to do normal things like going to work! It’s at these moments we realise that our health is the foundation for us to achieve all the other things we want to in life. Having a healthy lifestyle should be top priority.
Just to be clear here, I’m not speaking about body building or extreme muscle building exercises, it’s all about general wellbeing and maintaining your body to a good level. It’s about maintaining your body so it can continue to give you the performance that you need. As a parent you need a body that is energetic, mobile, strong, pain free and enduring.
We sat down with Ricardo Charlton, a father, fitness enthusiast and founder of the health and fitness website www.thefitnesshouse.co.uk, to get his top tips for maintaining your physical wellbeing while balancing the conflicting demands that come with having a young family.
1. Use your work lunchtimes productively
It may be difficult to get to the gym in the evenings like you used to (you’ll probably have bed time routine stuff to do) or in the morning (you’ll probably be too tired!) so think about where else in the day you can fit in a session. Finding a gym near your workplace for a lunchtime workout can be an ideal way to still train while avoiding losing out on precious family time.
2. Find ways to exercise at home
Sometimes getting to the gym is just not practical. It could be the cost or location or you just might not be a gym kinda person. There are plenty of exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home that will achieve just as good results. Exercising at home is a great way to help balance all your conflicting demands. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you find a workout plan that works for you.
3. Plan and Prepare your food in advance
We all know that along with exercise, eating the rights foods is also an essential factor in maintaining your health and wellbeing. Cooking healthy food in bulk not only ensures you’ll be eating healthy throughout the week but also saves precious time that can be spent away from that kitchen every evening!
4. Get your partner on board
Doing things together as a team makes everything so much more achievable. Not only will you be eating the same foods, which makes meal preparation so much easier, but you will be encouraging each other and keeping each other on track when you fall off. An accountability partner that can motivate you is important. Also it’s more fun doing it with someone else and as can track your progress and celebrate your successes together!
5. Make sure you are prioritising sleep!
When you have a young family and the little one is in bed at 8pm, its easy to stay up late and enjoy the time you have to yourself. I understand this is catchup time and it’s to be savoured but it’s also important to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Your body needs to rest and recuperate. So, for at least a couple of nights during the week, skip that episode of Game of Thrones and make a commitment to going to bed really early and getting a proper nights rest.
6. Have a treat every now and then
So let’s assume you’ve been eating healthy all week and exercising, you deserve a treat right?! It’s important to treat yourself on a weekly basis as a reward for all your hard work. So on a Friday or Saturday indulge in that takeaway or get that ice cream sundae at the cinema. We work hard and we should be able to enjoy ourselves.
7. Fit your exercise routine around your day to have the kids
Some Fathers may not live with their children so it’s important to fit any gym routine around the days that you are looking after your children. If you know you look after your kids every Saturday and Sunday, make the most of the weekdays and fit all your exercise in then.
The Fitness House is an online site that features the best in health and fitness content from across the Internet. Think WorldStar Hip Hop or GRMdaily but for fitness.
I used to search YouTube for good health and fitness content but quickly realised the content varied in quality. I wanted to create a site that groups all the best videos together in one place. We search for the great content so you don’t have to – founder, Ricardo Charlton
Expect to see content on healthy meals, weight training, home training, cardio workouts, fitness myths and facts, injury prevention and just about everything else fitness and health related.
The Fitness House also create some dope merchandise so be sure to check out their instagram for details on how to grab yourself a tshirt or hoodie.
Written by Elliott Rae
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