Letting Go

Father to a busy one-year-old, JAMES ALLAN understands how easy it is to see all that pre-baby hard work unravel.

Family requires sacrifice. One which often sees fit, healthy males let themselves go. The arms may be large, but unfortunately so is the waistline.

Why does this happen? The reason is simple: new parents lack three things…

TIME Raising children is a tag-team effort. Outside of your working hours, you will be feeding, clothing and bathing your little human before attempting to do these things for yourself.

MONEY It’s likely you are now on a single wage or salary, with greater outgoings. Some things have to give. Gym memberships are often one of the first.

MOTIVATION You will be sleep-deprived. You will stumble through the working day before heading home, not knowing how many hours of sleep you will get, before having to do it all again. Quick 5k run in the rain? Probably not.

Getting Back on Track

Still eating like you’re training six times a week?
If more food is going in than you can burn off, then you’ll be letting out the belt before long. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself; just be realistic. And drink plenty of water. You may think that you need energy drinks to get you through the day. You don’t. Overindulging in these will also reduce the quality of any sleep you get.

No time at all?
Try this. Set yourself a target for the day. For example: 100 press- ups. Break it down into 10 sets of 10. Knock them out any chance you get. Maybe when microwaving a bottle or running the bath. Pick one exercise to improve on or choose a different exercise each day so that you target the whole body.

Fit your workout into your daily routine. Run or cycle to work. Take a class in your lunch break. Find a route you can safely run with a buggy, or a route to the shops that takes you past an outdoor gym or playground. See a park bench? Perfect for tricep dips, incline/decline
press-ups and box jumps. Do what you need to do and carry on with
your day.

When you can find time for exercise, seize the opportunity. Go in with a plan. That way, if you miss any sessions, you’re still covered. More of a runner or cyclist or swimmer? Concentrate on speed and interval training. Get the heart rate up in a shorter time, and get back to your family. Perhaps use this time to learn a new skill? Set yourself a goal. One-armed press-up? L-sit hold? 20 strict pull-ups? Realise there is a lot more to strength and fitness than bicep curls. Start humble and make it happen.

Why bother?
Perhaps you are thinking, ‘why bother? I’m married with kids now, why shouldn’t I let myself go a little? I’ve earned it.’ That’s your choice.

However, improved fitness will benefit you in any situation. It raises energy levels, lowers stress levels and improves your ability to cope with anything life throws at you.

Still not convinced? In just a few short years, you are going to become the subject of numerous conversations about whose dad is the fastest, strongest or best. Think about that for a moment, then get to work!