Helping Dad's to Exercise

I know I am very biased, but my little girl is the most beautiful girl on Mount Tamborine.  In fact, I recall walking down Main Street when she was about 2 years old and being stopped by a sweet little old lady.  I remember her looking at Sarah, then squinting up at me, looking back at Sarah and then squinting back up at me again.  She looked a little confused and then finally she blurted out: “Wow, her Mum must be VERY good looking.” 

I am a very proud Dad.  I love being a Dad.  There is nothing better and I am truly blessed to have my two wonderful children.  Being a Dad is the best thing I have ever been in my life.  It is also the most important thing I have ever done.  However, being a good Dad requires a lot of time and energy.  Finding the time to fit in the long hours at work, the yard work, the household chores, time with the kids and supporting our wives doesn’t leave us with a lot of time left over to stay fit and healthy.

I know for me that it is hard to make exercise a priority.  It feels like I am taking precious time away from my family and on the surface it seems to be quite a selfish thing to be doing.  However, I am realising how important it is to my role as a Dad.  Not only is it essential that I set an example for my children, but the more physically capable I am the easier it is for me to have some energy left over after a busy day at work to bounce on the tramp, play footy, win those wrestling matches and run behind my little boy as he learns to ride his bike.

With that in mind here are a few tips to help us men find time to exercise:

1. Schedule It:  We schedule meetings at work.  We schedule date nights with our wives.  We schedule physio appointments.  To be serious and make our fitness a priority, we need to schedule it and treat it as if it's an appointment that cannot be changed.

2. Start Small:  Finding time to exercise is challenging.  Try to carve out only a small amount of time at first.  For instance, I have started to build one hour a week into my schedule.  As I progress in my workouts, I will likely want to do more and will be more motivated to find more time to exercise.

3. Make It Fun:  I don’t like lifting weights.  I spent a lot of time in the gym when I was playing footy, and for me, it feels like a job.   I do like walking and circuit training.  So I am building my workouts around these.  Stop and ask yourself what kind of exercise do you enjoy?  Is it running?  Pilates? Tennis?  Figure out what you like to do and start doing it.

4. Make it a Family Affair:  Try to encourage your wife and kids to join you.  They will not only keep you company; they will also help to motivate you to continue.

Come on guys, we can do this!

Happy Father’s Day.  You are so important.