Posted on September 12 2017
What is this most challenging part of fitness? Is it the fighting? The urge to press the snooze button a bare minimum of 3 times? Is it finding the will to make it to the gym after a long work day? Could it simply be figuring out how you can namaste with a house full of rabid kids? Whatever it is, we all face it. Teeth bared, in a roar or yawn, we face it. I am a 33-year-old father of three boys. Beyond that, I’m a summer stay at home dad and husband. It truly is three different schedules that don’t lend for much time for fitness. At least on the surface. The first thing that parents must break is the mold of what fitness is. You do not have to be a gym rat, marathon runner, or ultra yogi to qualify in the fitness club. Most days that I hit my step goals on my Fitbit is when I am just going around town with my boys. I don't have a magic bullet for being active or fit, but I can share with you how I incorporate it into everyday life.
Mornings were never my thing but I did them for school and eventually work. Now that I have kids I look forward to waking before the sun. Everyone in my house is asleep at 5am. It’s has turned into the perfect time for me. Waking up early does two things. One, it gives me time for meditation. I began with just mindful walking, focusing on my breathing and clearing my mind. Just this 45 minutes of walking already puts me in a positive heart rate and mood. I listen to my morning mantras, get a little yoga stretch in, and it's all good. This eventually transformed into what is now my morning bike rides and runs. If you are a morning person or want to work on becoming a morning person, this is a good practice. Second, I feel refreshed and ready to start my day. The reward of espresso at home is always a great reward after my morning routine. By the time I am back home, it’s time for the rest of the house to start waking, so I don’t have to tip toe as well.
Another way I stay active is by getting involved with my kids play or have them do an activity with me. Have you ever seen kids that play? They are ripped. When was the last time you got on some monkey bars? Guess what? It's free CrossFit! I do pull ups at the playground, run, slide, and climb with my boys. We have fun and daddy gets a workout in. Most parents see it as a good time to sit back and Facebook, but you are totally missing out on good cardio and body weight training. Don't have any weights at home? Have you ever done squats with a 50lb kid? It's body weight that you have to contract every muscle to control the wiggling body you are holding. Every time I hit the floor and think I am going to do push ups, I end up with a kid strapped to my back. Take that extra weight and plank it! We do family bike rides and they get to mess up my Strava numbers and it’s great. If you get your kids involved with the activity it also helps instill that dedication in them as well. You still get your family time and you get to feel the burn.
I do still go for runs and bike rides on my own. Just make sure you have cooked an awesome meal for your wife and kids.
Submitted by: Chris Roy
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I'm a part time stay at home dad of three boys. We live a fast paced adventurous life and learn along the way. With a passion for good food, fun, and family, we always find a way to make grub healthy and fitness fun.