“Dad Bod” is a slang term referring to exactly what it sounds like – the body of a dad. But since its inception, the term has grown into a character all its own. The dad bod is a little soft around the edges. It says, “Yes, I am familiar with the gym, but no, I don’t go to the gym.” It may or may not have a weakness for fast food.
If you’re rocking the dad bod, chances are, you’re having trouble balancing your responsibilities as a parent and the time it takes to stay in shape. If there’s one thing that all dads can agree on it’s the love for their children. As a result, personal priorities often become neglected. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To prove it, we asked three of the dads here at BPI Sports how they manage to stay in such great shape.
“When you’re a parent, fitness falls off your priority list – what’s more important than your kids?! Once you recognize that, you can do something about it. Write down your top five priorities. If fitness falls within that list, then make the time. If not, still try to fit in at least 20 minutes a day, whether that means going to bed 20 minutes later or waking up 20 minutes earlier. Something is better than nothing.”
“Prepare your baby’s food while you prepare yours. I’ve always been big on meal prep and I do it all on Sunday. Now, I don’t just prepare my meals, I make sure to make at least 3 days of Breton’s bottles. Saves so much time down the line.”
“Don’t eat fast food – ever! It doesn’t matter how strapped you are for time; fast food is never an acceptable meal!”
“Set a goal. I promised myself I was going to work out a minimum of four days a week, wherever it fit. So even if that was Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I got it in.”
“The most important thing is maintaining your structure and making a habit but be realistic. Where does your workout fit in? Manage your expectations.”
“Be okay with flexible workout hours and finding things that are convenient to your new lifestyle. The #1 thing that saved me was my garage gym. I used to work out after work every day, but the first three months, I was working out at 1-2am because that’s the only time I could get it in. I had to work around Breton.”
“Leverage the stress. In 50s sitcoms, you’d see the dad come home from work and grab a glass of whiskey to decompress from his long day. I use the gym the same way. When I get home, I dedicate at least 30-40 minutes to a workout. I come out in a Zen state, ready to parent.”
“Invest in a jogging stroller. I cannot emphasize the jogging part enough. Do NOT run around with your newborn in a regular stroller. These strollers have bigger wheels and shocks so you can actually do cardio. These are going to be those days/nights when your baby won’t stop crying. You’ve fed him, you’ve changed him, and he just won’t stop crying. Take him for a run with you in this stroller and I guarantee he’ll be out in three minutes.”
The BPI dads have spoken. The dad bod is not the inescapable destiny of new fathers. Keeping up with your health isn’t easy, but by prioritizing, putting in the work, and making the sacrifices, you too can avoid the dreaded dad bod.