It’s no secret – kids can take a toll on parents. They strip you of sleep, drain your bank account and have the odd power of causing moms and dads to bulge, bloat and grow bigger.
Children are a blessing, but our devotion to these little ones can cause us to forget to take of ourselves. The health of the parent has a direct influence on the health of the whole family, which is why it’s so important to remember that we should also eat our veggies and get 60-minutes of “play” each day.
We’ve covered family fitness before, but today we want to talk about a certain trend called the Dad Bod.
Heard of it? We’re sure you have. It’s known as the inevitable development of a protruding stomach that comes with the gig of being a father. Yet, at the same time, it isn’t a complete spiral into being overweight or obese. It’s a balance, as some people refer to it, between eating pizza on the regular and hitting the gym maybe once or twice a week. If this balance is kept, the Dad Bod is nothing to worry about (in fact, some people find it an ideal look). But, if the pizza starts to overtake the time spent on the treadmill, the Dad Bod risks slipping into plain ole’ chubby bod.
To help keep that bod in check, we’ve provided 7 fun ways that fathers can break a sweat with their kids and get the whole family on the road to physical fitness. These are interactive, unique, and can make working out something to look forward to rather than a chore or punishment. Ready to get in shape and fit back into those jeans from college? Let’s go!
1. Start a YouTube Channel
Don’t just workout together – provide step-by-step exercise routines for other families around the world!
Simply go to YouTube, start your own Daddy & Me Workout Routines video channel, then post weekly exercises filmed on your computer in your living room, basement, backyard, local park, etc. Your kids will love recording videos of your workouts and it will motivate them to think of more creative ways to exercise and to share their channel with their friends!
Here’s an adorable example:
2. Join/Coach a Team
Joining a sport’s team as a family or coaching your kid’s youth team is a great way to be active together. Whether you’re training for an upcoming intramural softball game or running laps in preparation for a soccer match, doing a sport together can create a lasting bond and helps to keep you and your kiddo(s) in shape. Plus, it provides the opportunity to teach lessons like teamwork, sportsmanship, and the holistic nature of being healthy (it’s not all burpees – there’s food and mental health as well!).
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Youth sports hosted by a local organization, such as a church, non-profit or other group that is looking for coaches
- Teams that allow families to play together, such as beach volleyball, softball or kickball
- Starting your own small league in your neighborhood or local community based on your favorite sport
- Creating weekly games of basketball, tennis, baseball or soccer at your local park (depending on what facilities are available – make sure you check if you need to schedule time to use them or if they are first-come-first-serve)
- Signing up to teach swimming and getting your own kids in the classes who don’t yet know how to stay afloat
- Crafting a workout routing for your kid who is already in a sport to prep for the upcoming season
3. Train for a Race Together
We wrote a post before about training for a Fun Run, but one thing we left off the list was the value of working out/running as a family to prep for the a-thon. When you have a goal in mind, it makes the journey more bearable. Sign your family up for a 3k or 5k and train together in the weeks leading up to the race. Set aside a time each day to run, stretch, or work on strength training. Make a calendar with your workout days leading up to the big race day and put it somewhere visible in your household. This will create momentum and make your kids feel like they are breaking a sweat for a purpose.
Once the race is over, it will feel like a true accomplish that the entire family completed together! Then, sign up for the next race and begin the training process over again. This routine actually breaks up the monotony of working out and is motivating for both you and your children.
4. Pick Up a New Hobby/Sport
What’s one sport or physical activity you’ve never tried??
Shake up your workout routine by trying something for the first time – whether that’s paddle boarding, rock climbing, being a soccer goalie, or martial arts. Ask your kids what they want to explore, then find out how to do it – you might need to rent equipment, sign up for a class or maybe just strap on your gym shoes and go! This new experience will reinvigorate you and get your kids excited about taking on a new hobby.
5. Get a Family Gym Membership
You might not be motivated to hit the gym by yourself, but you might if the rest of the family gets geared up and ready to go. Each gym is a little different, so go explore your options together to choose one that fits your family the best.
Family gym memberships can be cost effective and some facilities will provide a discount based on the # of people you register. Going to the gym can also be combined with a workout buddy system. Pair up different members of your family (or just be workout buddies with your kids) to motivate, encourage and keep each other accountable.
6. Take a Class Together
Sign up for a family fitness class together! This could be a yoga class, a martial arts program, a rock climbing course, a workshop on perfecting your golf swing – anything that offers an age range and that can accommodate your family. If there’s a program your kids want to take, like dance or swim, that isn’t open to adults, then join an adult class and share your experiences together. You can also train/practice together even if you’re not in the same class.
Check out this awesome Family Yoga class to see what you and your fam could enjoy!
7. Go for an Extended Hiking Trip
Hiking is combines two awesome motivators for kids to work out: adventure and the great outdoors! Going for long hikes with kids (and even babies!) is a growing trend for families. Research the hikes near you and go on some shorter treks to get used to the terrain, elevation, and overall experience of putting on a pack and hitting the trail. Then, plan a longer hike, maybe an overnight or weekend-long journey. Train with your family through cardio and endurance leading up to the hike.
To make it even more fun, plan a special meal or celebration for when you reach your destination or complete the hike altogether. This will teach your kids survival skills, patience, and a love for exploration. Plus, it will do wonders to trim that dad bod and keep your physique in top shape for picking up kids, hauling away Christmas decorations and all those other dad duties you do so well!Add to favorite