My family loves running and working out. We are no weightlifters but we like to keep it fit and healthy. Why?
First, I want to be an example for my kids. If they see we care about our body and mind, we can trigger inspiration in order for them to adopt the same way of thinking. Fatherhood means enabling your kids to do so much more than what you have ever accomplished.
Second, I want to keep up with my kids and my grandkids when I get older. Too early to talk about that? Not at all. We tend think in ‘now’, feeling confident that our bodies will last but the truth is they won’t. Staying fit now is an investment for my future self.
So whether you run to work every day, work out in the gym once in a week, go for a hike every weekend or even establish healthy eating standards in your family, you’re building a hobby, passion or a routine around your life that keeps you fit and healthy.
The beginnings can be difficult especially if you’ve never considered yourself to be a sportsy type. The good news is it doesn’t matter how you feel about yourself. The important part is that you have decided to change it. Always take one step at a time.
Start off slow and small, think minimalistic and simple. Do not create expectations you cannot live up to. This is not a race but your attempt to be healthy and fit. Runners in the park might be lapping you but you’re still faster than the ones sitting home on the couch. Do not punish yourself by setting high standards. You just started.
Eat well
Food is a huge part of keeping healthy. What you eat many times determines how you feel. I am no professional on diets but I think this is a no brainer — lower or cut the intake of sugar during the day (treat yourself once in a week), eat regularly and drink water. Don’t let yourself starve to the point where you literally eat anything just to get some energy from it. Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about! I’m sure there are plenty of great websites on the internet that can help you out. Pick the right one.
Exercise regularly
Devote a specific time to your workouts. This a very challenging tasks for couples with kids as they can never really tell how the kids are going to be. We noticed, however, that if my wife and I sync a day or two before we do anything, we usually get it done. Sometimes you’ll have to improvise and experiment to make it happen, like late night preparation of the food for the next day or an early bird edition of your run.
Get everyone on board
My wife has always been an exercise junkie. She pulled me in and now, just last week, my daughter got her second medal for a local kids run. You might not be noticing it immediately, but kids watch what we do and how we do it. Trust me, it’ll work better in your family once everyone has onboarded the healthy ship! Do not force your kids to do something they don’t like. Encourage them to find their own track.
How do you make this work in the busiest seasons of your life?  You either do or you don’t. I sometimes manage to stick to my plan and other times I fail. As a working dad, I juggle through the day, trying my best to be there for my family, do my job well and enjoy some free time. Where do you position your healthy? It’s about the small thing and decisions you make every day.  15 minute exercise may sound like you had a crappy workout but it does not have to be so. Remember that you’re always lapping the ones on the couch, therefore, discouragement has no place in your life. Always one step a a time towards victory.

What is GetConnectDAD?

@GetConnectDAD is an international project focused on One goal:  More ConnectDAD families.   We are 150 writers from around the world, focused on 52 Traits we want in our children.

The GetConnectDAD team would like to challenge every parent to:

  • Devote 1 Extra Hour of Time each week to your kids (uninterrupted)
  • Read 1 story or have 1 story read to you by your child this week 
  • Take 1 Walk outside with your partner and kids
  • Take 1 moment to say “I love you” to your kids
  • Hug your kid(s) 1 time this week