Welcome to a new feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie (he doesn’t admit it, but he’s a total food snob), coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving father (our dog adores him – as does our son whose favourite toys are cooking related just like his Dad). Who is also seriously into his fitness. Be it bikes (he has far too many) or more recently muddy racing after completely Tough Guy (and getting hypothermia just for the fun of it) in January this year. Oh and he has a bit of a penchant for pink. He will blog pretty much about the above and you can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Fitness Tips When You’ve Got Kids
As the father of a 3 year old and a 10 month old sometimes it can be hard to fit in exercise, life is busy at the best of times and when you throw sleep deprivation into the bargain it can get near impossible to find time to put those trainers on. The problem is, exercise for me isn’t a pressure, it’s something I do to relieve pressure. The right amount of exercise can help fight tiredness, keep the immune system in order and provide a much needed supply of lovely lovely endorphins. Here are five things I do to keep the exercise up when I’m running on the amount of sleep that would frighten the hardiest SAS recruit.
- Sling – don’t push
One of the real joys with both of our kids has been carrying them in slings. As a dad it’s great for getting close to them, for them, it’s restful and will often send even stubborn newborns (daughter I am looking at you here) off to sleep. Unlike pushchairs / travel systems they build good strength in your upper body and core. Options range from straight up fabric materials to more traditional harnesses. Don’t be daunted if fabric ones require a special knot, it’s easy to learn. With harness types, check reviews to make sure not too much pressure is on the pelvis.
- Get the kids involved
Watch a toddler, they don’t walk anywhere, the run and jump because for them, movement is a joy. If you involve them in what you do they’ll love it. Try showing them burpees and moving from there, even a few burpees a day will keep your core in order. That being said my 3 year old is not interested at all in trying my pull up bar, wise lad.
- Dance is exercise
As well as my family and exercise, I love music and so do my kids. This Christmas we discovered disco together and it was a universal hit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s disco, drum and bass or death metal, kids love moving to music. 20 minutes dancing a day is great cardio, just make sure the lyrics are child safe. This can be done while slinging.
- Get involved at soft play
I don’t care if you’re a triathlete, ultra marathon runner or a hardened obstacle racer, there is no workout harder than getting involved with a room full of 2 year olds doing soft play at warp speed, it’s also loads of fun. As well as being great cardio it’s the best thing in the world for your kid to show their dad all their favourite slides and cargo nets.
- Make time for yourself
A reasonable amount of regular exercise keeps you fit to play with your littles, keeps your brain chemistry in check, fights tiredness and gives valuable headspace, it’s important to make time for this. A balanced dad is a better dad. So it’s ok to slip out for a run a few times a week as long as you afford your partner the same courtesy.