Han-Son, editor of daddilife – the website for modern dads – says there’s one important area dads need to start investing more time in…
There’s been a lot of change in the world of ‘dad’ in the last decade – more stay at home dads than ever before, and new shared parental leave policies across many parts of the world as examples. But there’s one area that’s getting worse…dads’ health, and that’s not just a pressing concern for dad, but his children too.
According to the NHS, the level of obesity in the UK is more than three times what it was in the 1980s, and in the US almost three quarters of adults are now obese. “Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults,” according to a study led by Susan Jebb of Oxford University, and 40% of children across the world are inheriting their obesity from their parents. It’s time to challenge our approach to health before it really is too late.
Here’s how dad’s can deliver the change needed:
Use fatherhood as the motivator, not the excuse
‘I just don’t have the time’ is something we hear a lot. And hey look I get it – we’re super busy trying to hold down work, and spending as much time with the little ones as possible, but we need to start using our roles as fathers to set the example and protect the health of our families. A lot of this change starts in the mind, and not even with our exercise, but our sleep! It is recommended that adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and it has a huge impact on our health, both in our daily focus energy and also in our muscle development. But one in three adults now gets less than 6 hours sleep a night!
Take a HIIT and think ‘progress’ not perfect
HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training (what did you think we meant?) 😉
There’s a huge range of exercises you can do, and doing it in short intense bursts will help burn the calories even quicker. Things will always come up that change your planned routine as a dad – kids got ill, partner needs you to help, work needed you to stay later, and all of that is ok. The important thing is that every little bit makes a huge difference in the long term.
How to start getting ‘progress not perfection’:
- Integrate something into your everyday, such as walking to your place of work, and taking a leisurely jog instead of the bus or car.
- Invest in some dumbbells / kettlebells, and a jump rope for those five minute moments you have at home.
- Find a fellow dad to maintain the exercise routine. Push each other all the way.
- Be hard on yourself – make sure you get a good range of exercises in your routine – Burpees, Air squat, Pushups, Killer abs, Plank, variations, Core workout, 5-minute legs.
Cut the crap from our diets
All the exercise gains won’t make a shred of difference if you’re not eating right. Aiming to lose around 0.5-1kg (1-2lb) a week to reach your required weight is doable, as long as you eat right. Here is how you can achieve it:
- Stop eating so much sugar – Sugar is broken into glucose and fructose once in our bodies. Our bodies naturally produce glucose, and there is no physiological need for fructose at all. It’s only metabolized by the liver in small amounts. Try losing the sugar from your coffees and teas for a week to start, and you’ll notice the difference in energy already.
- Carb substitutes – pasta is delicious, but did you know a typical plate of spaghetti can add 100-150 grams of carbs just on its own! Think about courgette spaghetti instead of regular high-carb spaghetti, or even butternut squash.
- Prep like a boss– meal preparation takes your focus on health to new levels, and means you’ve always got something delicious and healthy in the fridge.
Dad’s health is an investment, not a cost. It’s time we fix it – both for ourselves and to set the right way for our families. Make sure you’re investing in the right thing dad.
For the full guide to dad’s health head over to daddilife for more details and the specific tips from the likes of Jason Khalipa, Jay Cardiello and Barry’s Bootcamp.