How to Stay in Shape as a ‘Newborn’ Father: The Ultimate Guide

6 min


Many have said that fatherhood is a gift that should be cherished above all else.And for the most part, I agree.It gives your life both a huge amount of purpose and an unfathomable amount of meaning. It provides you with an opportunity to educate and teach someone how to be a quality human being. And most of all, it brings an indescribable joy to your everyday life.But you must admit, it’s also one hell of a game changer. Seriously, can you think of any single life event that has the ability to turn your life quite so far upside down?Yeah, I didn’t think so.You see, with fatherhood comes an incredible loss of structure. Life becomes less routine and much more chaotic. In short, it becomes less about you – and as a result, your health falls one spot further down your own list of priorities.And when we combine this with a severe lack of sleep, a rather large decline in free time, and often a rapid spike in stress – well staying in shape can feel impossible.But I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case. You can take certain steps in your daily life to ensure that your newborn child doesn’t derail your health and fitness, and you can do so without impacting your family life in a negative manner.1. Maximize Your Training EfficiencyFor a very long time I managed to get into the gym five times per week and train for an hour every single session. For whatever reason, this was easily accomplished, even despite being a married man who was working full time.But throw a newborn child into the mix and, well, not so much.Time quickly became short, and I rapidly realized that I couldn’t train the way I used to – so I made a change.I focused on finding the smallest amount I could do to elicit a training response, and stuck to that with unyielding fervor. You see, while it may be hard to believe, but you can genuinely make progress with as little as two sessions per week.As long as you perform those sessions with a decent training intensity, of course.So, if your primary training goal is to build some muscle and burn some fat, getting into the gym as little as two times per week and focusing on full body gym sessions is your best bet. And if you follow those gym sessions with a quick 10-15 minutes of interval training, you can stay in shape and maximize your health in an absurdly efficient manner. 2. Discuss Your Exercise Goals OpenlyOnce you have worked out how and when you want to train, it is absolutely essential that you take the time discuss these plans with your partner.While you see the need for your two gym sessions per week, your partner may view it as a luxury that they can’t really afford.So discuss why this is so important to you and make sure that they are happy with the arrangement – at times it’s easy to forget that you are a team, and you need to work together to make this whole parenthood thing as smooth as possible.In conjunction with this, I strongly recommend that you also give up a bit of your own time so your spouse can do something similar (whatever that may be). Having time to focus solely on you is integral to maintaining both of your sanity, so make sure you both have that time readily available and locked in each and every week. 3. Treat Your Workouts like AppointmentsI would argue that too many people consider their own workouts as unnecessary.Something they can skip easily if the need arises.And unfortunately, this type of mindset absolutely destroys any hope of success, in any capacity.I firmly believe that something as simple as a change in mindset can make huge changes in the results of your training – and one of the easiest mindset changes to make is to start viewing your workouts as almost entirely unmissable.This is a surefire way to ensure that you don’t miss your sessions. It means that you will actually train consistently, and therefore see results. It means that your health will not suffer in any way, despite your whole life being thrown completely upside down.So in short, treat your workouts like appointments – and don’t miss them unless you absolutely have to. 4. Knuckle Down on SleepNow, our final point has more to do with sleeping than it does with training – but I would argue that it is our most important.One of the biggest issues that come with a new child is a lack of sleep. And this lack of sleep results in an increase in stress, which makes it even harder to fall asleep!This vicious cycle ends up causing a huge increase in the secretion of the hormone cortisol, while causing a rapid reduction in the hormone testosterone – the result of which is a huge drop in energy levels, combined with both rapid fat gain and associated muscle loss.Which is why getting some good quality sleep is incredibly important.But I know that this is a little bit harder than simply sleeping more. Hell, with a new baby around simply sleeping more isn’t an option.But you can enhance your sleep quality in two very simple steps.Go to bed earlier.No screens after 9pm.It is honestly that simple.By stopping screen time at 9pm, you limit your exposure to blue light, which actually helps you get to sleep faster. Additionally, by simply hopping into bed earlier than normal, you give yourself more time to get enough sleep.So even if that sleep ends up being broken down into a couple of 3 or 4 hour sections, you are much more likely to get a full 8 hours in every night.See? Simple.ConclusionNow, a bit of a disclaimer here – keeping in shape as a new father certainly isn’t easy.But it can be done.By simply being efficient with your workout selection, being open and honest with your spouse, and making your gym sessions as routine as possible, you greatly increase your chances of actually getting into the gym and seeing some decent results from your training.And when you combine this with some improvement in sleep, well you have a recipe for success.Just remember that it’s not always going to work perfectly. You are destined to have some ups and downs – with this in mind, the key is to roll with the punches and keep on pushing through, no matter what happens.


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