4/5/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

Everyone has heard this story before

My Girlfriend left me because I never put the toilet seat down.

To be fair, I’m not even sure why I started carrying it.

2/5/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

since when do zebra’s cross the road?

 

I spent ages trying to cross a busy road. . .

A passer-by said “there’s a zebra crossing up the road”

I replied “I hope he’s having better luck then me”.

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Choose your workout buddy

Sometimes its not about what you do to keep active its about who its with. We all have something that motivates us to workout and keep Active (see ‘Why be an Active Dad‘), but sometimes that’s not enough.

We need someone to keep us accountable, not just to be active every day, but to give it 100% each time. That’s where its important to choose your workout partners carefully.

Today’s Experience

Being a day off from work, my son was down for a nap and my wife was at home, it was a perfect time to get my daily dose of sweat. While it wasn’t planned, when I got to the gym there was two other guys there I know, who both happen to be Dads. We were all there for the same reason so we worked out together.

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It was a hour of High Intensity training, pushing each other to lift heavier weights and get more out of the workout.

What I Learnt from it

One thing I’ve learnt about working out is it is a great stress reliever. Whether its stress from Work, Home, or anything else. Pushing yourself hard will take your mind off it.

Working out with other Dads gave us the opportunity to talk about being a dad and the different challenges we were going through. Hearing their challenges and realising that they were still able to find an hour most days to get away puts it all in perspective. If they can do it, anyone can.

Choosing your Workout Partner

Everyone has their own routine when it comes to being active and working out. Some will only go it Solo, Some need motivation that you can only get from a personal trainer, others prefer to do it as a group. Find what works for you.

As a Dad I suggest finding other Dad’s to workout with. There are a number of benefits in doing so. Firstly you will have someone to push you harder and really get 100% from every workout. Secondly there lives are going to be somewhat similar to yours, they will understand when you pull out at the last minute due to your family, they will understand if finding free time is challenging. Finally it will give you an opportunity to talk Dad Stuff to other Dads.

Why be an Active Dad

Why do I workout? Why spend some of your free time at the gym? Why spend your hand earned money on a membership? Why get up early everyday instead of sleeping in? Why push your body so it’s sore the next day? Why Workout?

These are all questions everyone has asked themselves in some form or another. Whether you don’t workout at all or whether you go for a run everyday, you have asked yourself these questions. So Why do we do it? that answer is different for everyone, everyone has their own ‘Why?’. It’s what drives them to allocate a part of their day to pushing themselves to the limit.

My Why has definitely evolved over the years, but since becoming a Dad I feel like its stronger then ever. I’m not saying I don’t go through ‘off’ stages

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So Why do I Workout?

Simply put, So I can keep up with my kids. My kid is very active and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. As he gets older chasing him around is going to require more effort on my behalf. I Don’t want to be exhausted every time he wants to play backyard footy. Not only that I want to actually be able to do these kinds of activities with him. I Don’t want to be stuck on the lounge because I’m too tired, I want to continue to live my life without needing support in day to day activities because I can’t lift objects I used to be able to.

So What Works for Me?

The best part of my why is that its not so much about me but about my family. Its a life-long challenge that will require ongoing commitment, which sounds scary but 1 or 2 weeks missed here and there isn’t going to impact it overall. In fact its good to give your body a break every so often.

I try to participate in some form of High Intensity activity multiple times a week along with strength work on all muscle groups. Push myself to the point I’m huffing and puffing and sweat is rolling off me to build and maintain healthy lung capacity. Utilise Whole Body strength movements which we use in day to day activity such as squats and deadlifts to work all muscles in my body

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Benefits of Being an Active Dad

All you have to do is a quick google search to find a wealth of information about the benefits of working out regularly. Do these all apply to being a Dad, probably not but there are still plenty of good reasons to stay active such as

  • Less Likely to be worn out chasing your kids. This starts from as soon as they can walk. As they grow older they will become more active and wouldn’t you rather be the Dad that can keep up with them rather then being worn out on the sideline?
  • More chance of living a longer and healthier life. Its not just about living to old age anymore. Don’t you want to see your kids grow up, live their lives, maybe have grandchildren one day? I know when I get older I don’t want to be someone who becomes a burden on their family because they can’t look after themselves.
  • Being proud of your Dad Bod. Everyone has a different idea of what the ideal ‘DadBod’ looks like. The fact is if your a Dad and you have a body, you have a DadBod. Wouldn’t you rather be comfortable and happy in your body then ashamed?

Whether your a parent or not, living an active lifestyle will do wonders for your health and well-being, its just up to you to commit to it. Find out what works for you and maintain it. Most Importantly find your Why

 

Eating Healthy or rather trying to. . .

Eating Healthy comes in many different forms. What works for some doesn’t work for others. What you can’t argue with is the benefits. As a working Dad it can be hard to stick to any sort of meal plan.

Everyone you ask will give you a different description of what healthy eating is. Here’s a few that come to mind

  • Eating from the 5 food groups
  • Getting all your serves of fruit and vegetables.
  • Apple a day keeps the doctor away

When you think about what people say there are a lot of common themes and some not so common.

I don’t have any grand plans about loosing weight or getting a 6 pack, I just want to live a long and healthy life so I can keep up with my kids. So what do I do? I focus on trying to eat as healthy as possible when I can so it outweighs the times I can’t. Not as easy as it sounds.

Planning is a key part of this. You can’t eat healthy if your pantry is full of junk. So next time your doing a grocery shop. Take a bit more time and think before you buy. Once you have the food. Set aside the time to prepare it. I am by no means a chef but i’ve found healthier meals take longer to prepare (if you know of any shortcuts definately let me know). If you can tick those two boxes the hard work is done, you just need to make it habit.

What do I do while working? Again plan ahead. Every day I make a smoothie with a combination of blueberries, strawberries, banana apple, kiwi, spinach, and honey. Doesn’t sound that appetising but tastes alright and I know its good for me. Bonus it helps keep me full and stops me snacking on junk food.

Now I’m no dietician and will never claim to be. There is a wealth of information available if you look for it. I know what works for me. That’s the most important part, find what works for you, and maintain it as best you can.

Better then yesterday or Better then nothing.

Getting Fit isn’t so much about the destination but the journey you take getting there. Living an active lifestyle isn’t something that just happens. It requires doing what you can, when you can.

A coach once told me not just to define progress as getting stronger or running faster, but as being better then yesterday. If you did nothing yesterday, then doing something today makes it better then yesterday. You don’t have to be the strongest or the fittest out there, just try to be better then yesterday.

When you push yourself to get out of the house and either go for a run, play sport, or do a workout. You should see that as a win. While you may be exhausted by the end of it, out of breath, or a little sore. You have done more then anyone who stayed at home on the couch. While it may seem like progress it slow. You are also looking after your mental and physical health. Something is always better then nothing.

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Swimming Lessons

Just Dad and the little guy, time to teach him how to swim. What could go wrong? After almost 2 terms I can tell you a lot can go wrong, but both of us have come out the other side better then before.

Living on the coastline in a part of the world where summers are hot and dry learning to swim is a necessity. Not only is it a good skill to have, its great to keep active, and it also helps to cool off on a hot day. However to enjoy all the benefits, one must get through the trials of swimming lessons first.

Let me describe the situation, Wednesdays Dad has the day off to spend with the Son, Mum and Dad agree its time to start swimming lessons, and it would be a good opportunity for Dad and Son to Bond. Sounds good so far?

Trial #1: Preparation

As with any outing with a toddler, you can never pack too much. Always pack extra nappies/wipes/anything else required for a change, along with this make sure you have multiple sets of clothes. Towels are important, yes that’s plural. Snacks are also important (afterwards only, no one wants a sick toddler in the pool), swimming uses a lot of energy.

Also don’t forget about yourself, toddler swimming lessons means you are in the pool too, you need a towel, you need a change of clothes, and a snack is nice too. Always good to remember this is about them not you, so avoid the budgie smugglers, and if you’re rocking the dadbod, a rash shirt won’t go astray.

Trial #2: The Lessons

Now the fun begins, every lesson is a new adventure. Sometimes they will be happy and laughing, others they will be crying, or refusing to get back in the pool. A note for beginners, this is pretty normal, and you can guarantee every other parent in the pool has had the same experience. Don’t be ashamed by it or embarrassed, just do your best, there is always next week.

If your not sure of the songs and the activities don’t worry, they are exactly the same every week. apparently humans of all sizes learn through repetition, it only took me 2 weeks. Hot tip though, try to avoid swallowing pool water (that goes for Dad and Son), usually tears will follow and it can be hard to settle. On that note, focus on reassuring your toddler as one crying toddler can quickly multiply and the next thing you know every toddler is crying. I learnt that the hard way.

Trial #3: Afterwards

Just because your not cold doesn’t mean toddler isn’t. Focus on getting them dried and dressed first.  Then they can relax (did someone say snack?), while you attempt to get dressed – don’t forget to bring your change of clothes, its embarrassing to get halfway changed then realise you forgot them. I say attempt because take too long and whoops they fell over in a puddle – remember that extra change of clothes! Don’t worry if this takes awhile at first and your the last parent left, you will get quicker as time goes on (repetition?)

Current Situation:

Preparation – Check! This is second nature now, given our lessons are in the morning, our bag is always packed the night before when our head is clear and we are not rushing.

Lessons – Check! Yes the songs are stuck in my head but they are in my sons too, the familar sounds help reassure him and he is finally feeling comfortable in the pool.

Afterwards – Check! Well I am still the slowest, but have avoided having to get dried and dressed multiple times for a few weeks now.

 

While this may seem like I dread our weekly lesson, its quite the opposite. We both enjoy it now, I can see the benefits, and no matter how bad the lesson might go, I know everyone else has had the same and next week will be another lesson. Learn what you can from my experiences, but most of all enjoy them!

Update 25/5/18:

The tale of Swimming Lessons continues in Part 2 find it here

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Keeping Fit or Staying Active

Keeping Fit and Staying Active are very similar, but also very different. Keeping Fit requires a certain level of discipline to maintain and is often done by choice rather then necessity. Staying Active is something anyone can do everyday, and looks a little different to everyone. Both have health benefits, but only one is easy to stick to as a Dad.

Everything changes when you become a Parent

I’d like to think that before parenthood I kept fairly fit. I visited the gym more often then not, I could run a fair distance, and I kept in shape. This is what I call Keeping Fit. Consistently pushing the boundaries of what my body could do. While this took up a lot of my spare time, and required commitment, I enjoyed it.

When I first became a Dad I thought I could keep it up, that didn’t last long. But what kind of example would I set for my kids if I fell into that classic ‘dadbod’. I want to raise healthy and active kids, but how can I do that if I can’t commit to it myself. This is where my mindset changed. I realised living an active life doesn’t mean I need to spend every day at the gym.

Ideas for keeping Active

Now my goals are a lot simpler, to be active everyday. How can I maintain this? by looking at day to day activities and how they contribute to being active:

  • Taking the dog for a walk
  • Chasing my kid around the backyard
  • Walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Getting up and walking across the office rather then sending an email

The list can go on forever, the trick is to find what works for you. Do as much as you can, but just remember, doing anything is better then nothing. So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get a chance to take the dog for a walk, but try something else instead.

Now I know there are some Super Dads out there that can go to the gym everyday while raising multiple kids, and I tilt my hat to them. Well Done!, Keep up the good Work!. But for me, that lifestyle doesn’t fit being a Dad at the moment, so in the meantime I’m going to focus on being a little bit more Active, Every Day.

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