So you’re lifting more Costco-sized boxes of diapers, rather than kettlebells in a CrossFit box. Them’s the fatherhood breaks. But just because you have less time to exercise (and more time to not exercise) it doesn’t mean you can’t be a physical and mental specimen. Here’s all the best advice in 2016 from the Zen masters, Spartan Race winners, memory grand champions, and more, all of whom will help you feel better than you probably did the day after New Year’s Eve.
Just Get Your Ass Out Of The Door
Thinking about starting a new workout plan? Follow Nike’s lead and just do it. “The key factor [in getting started with a workout] is taking action and getting started,” says James Lawrence, aka the Iron Cowboy, and one of the world’s most elite athletes. “Break a goal into smaller components, then do the basics consistently over a long period of time. No goal is too big, but you have to have the appropriate timeline for that goal.”
–What You Can Learn About Fitness From A Father Of 5 Who Did 50 Ironmans In 50 Days
Hone The Art Of Paying Attention
One of the best ways to boost your memory is by just paying attention. But it takes practice to drown out the numerous distractions around. One proven way: “Listen to the radio and set a timer to go off once a minute,” says Ed Cooke the Grand Master of Memory and founder of Memrise. “Pay complete attention for a minute. Then turn your attention off. On and off. He says this teaches you the ability to notice when you’re paying attention, because you don’t really notice when you’re not.”
–Stop Forgetting Your Anniversary With These Tips From A Memory Grand Master
A Dad Workout Is A Variable Load Workout
“To be a superhuman dad is to move weight with real life movement,” says fitness expert Adam Bornstein. “Prepare your body for the variable load.” Which is to say that a dumbbell doesn’t try to jump out of your arms without warning, but a 2-year-old does. So factor a little dynamic movement (like tossing a medicine ball off the wall) into your workout routine.
–6 Ways To Ensure Your Back Doesn’t Explode Before Your Kid Goes To College
How To Know You’re Working Hard
“The biggest mistake people make is the intensity,” says Joe Wicks, author of Lean In 15. They think they’re training the hardest, but you need to make yourself uncomfortable. Ultimately, I know when I’m training hard I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
–Work Out And Make A Healthy Breakfast Before Your Kid Finishes An Episode Of ‘Sesame Street’
Always Give Yourself A Moment Of Zen
You don’t need to be mindful each and every moment. According to Puddicombe, mindfulness expert and the founder of Headspace, you just need to find snippets each day where you check in with your emotions, your body, and your breathing. “That can be enough to give some perspective to keep you in the moment on an ongoing basis.” It’s like a coffee break — but with the opposite sensation.
–4 Ways To Be A Mindful Parent With Meditation Expert Andy Puddicombe
Full Body Workouts Are The Only Workouts
Late-night infomercials lied to you; there’s no way you can spot-remove fat on specific areas of your body. Fitness Expert and blogger Adam Bornstein says you need a general resistance training program that challenges the entire body and promotes overall fat loss. “Working yourself head to toe is going to cause all of your muscles to work harder, and your metabolism is going to be challenged more. If people just do ab work, they’re never going to lose fat.”
–The Best Short Exercise Routine For New Fathers With No Time But Lots Of Dad Bod
Sleep Earlier To Save Your Sanity
You should ideally be going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day. But realistically, you won’t be able to control your new human alarm clock in the next room. And the younger the kid, the earlier you’re rising. So Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, Director of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the go-to Sleep Doctor for the NBA and NHL says you should start by impose an earlier bedtime for yourself. “Parents are kidding themselves if they think they can get by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep. It will catch up with them,” he says. Don’t worry, you’ll soon have to stay up really late just to catch your curfew-breaking teen coming through the door.
–The NBA’s Sleep Doctor On What New Parents Can Learn From Athletes About Zzzz
Turn The Playground Into a Gym
According to 2015 Spartan Race World Champion, Robert Killian, playground balance beams are great for “resting” activities between sets of other exercises. He suggests that stronger dads (you know who you are) can use your children in the 50 pound range like free weights. Lift your kid up and hug them to your chest — similar to a bucket carry during a Spartan race — and cross the beam 3 times. If needed, rest and repeat. “You’ll really work your lower back,” says Killian. That would be the body part that is killing you because it’s not strong enough.
–Turn The Playground Into A Full-Body Workout With Tips From A Spartan Race Champ
Save Your Prostate By Having More Sex
You already know that you only need to have sex once a week in order to lead a happier life, but what about a healthier one? New research shows that you might have to up your game more than that to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. That’s right, you have yet another reason to bring up sex with your spouse, only this time it’s kind of a medical emergency.
–It Appears One Way To Avoid Prostate Cancer Is By Having More Sex