Becoming a father is no doubt one of the most rewarding experiences you are ever likely to have in your entire life. Then comes the hard work of ‘being’ a dad (big difference) which will of course include sacrificing those precious little pockets of time you used to have.
Those sacrifices made by a father often can include compromising their own fitness and lifestyle. It is no surprise that the most recent obesity statistics across a number of coutries, include the fact that fatherhood significantly increases the chance of weight gain.
In today’s modern world, when a child looks up to their dad as a role model as well as a leader, we need to find the ways that you can spend both quality time with your kids and convert to a healthier lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy activities for dads and kids to do that can do just that.
Speak to any fitness expert and they will tell you that swimming is one of the best ways to get fit & stay fit. More importantly, it is an activity that you incorporate into your family lifestyle effortlessly with very little cost.
For kids, learning to swim plays a critical part in both their physical and mental development. As they grow and stretch muscles they didn’t know they had, they become stronger and more confident. Let’s not forget the most important factor here is that this is all great fun and accessible to most people.
For adults, the benefits of swimming go far beyond just fitness with scientific studies linked to reducing stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help increase metabolic rate, help recover from injuries and play its part in guarding against diseases such as stroke and diabetes.
- The Park
We all often underestimate how much fun you can actually have in a park. You are given a blank canvas to pretty much create any activity you want to. Kids often have uninhibited and wild imaginations so use it to turn your local park into an adventure playground.
Get together with friends and family and create a sports/activities day. Dress-up and play out scenarios from your kids favourite storybooks. If all that seems like to much of a stretch to organise then a simple game of chasing each other around couple of times a week can do the trick. You could even try getting them into sports such as football which will not only help shape their future but will get you in the habit of staying active.
- Cooking Date
The negative stereotypes of men cooking for the family have thankfully become a thing of the past. Cooking is a relaxing hobby and some of the best chef’s around are also male. What you put into your family’s diet determines the impact on their quality of life. Even if you feel your culinary skills are not up to scratch, you can have great fun in the kitchen with your kids.
Set a cooking date once a week where you choose a tasty but healthy meal and you will have a go at creating that masterpiece. You can take pictures, laugh, joke, create a cookery book of your own that belongs to only you and your kids. The underlying benefit is that you are instilling the wisdom and importance of eating healthy and aligning that with fun. Who knows, it may even get them eating better!
Regular camping has been renowned as a healthy family activity for many decades but it has been outweighed more in recent years. The rise of low cost airlines and technological advances provide more and more distractions that keep us from enjoying the benefits that camping can bring.
On the face of it, you have your family together, bond and in many ways enjoy a great holiday. However, there are several health benefits to going camping which will often become overlooked. Oxygen for one is one of the most important drivers in helping both our physical and mental state. The fresh air factor is far from a myth helping the extra release of serotonin and improving your blood pressure, digestive and immune system.
You are likely to be walking a lot more and performing more physical activities or even just achieving that state of relaxation by teaching your kids to fish. There are many camps specifically aimed at families with lots of fun activities that are already organised especially in the summer.
You don’t need to be mister Miyagi to be able to learn Karate with your children. Martial arts are considered one of the most popular and recognised activities for kids to learn as well as adults. It can teach you self discipline, self respect as well as other factors such as breathing and conflict resolution.
It’s not about fighting or violence, the real philosophy is to protect yourself and staying in control. The things every parent wants to try and instil into their children.
As an adult you will get a total body workout which will contribute to all elements of your lifestyle including weight loss, self-confidence and better focus and overall mood. There are significantly more classes these days that promote family karate classes which provides the perfect opportunity to learn and develop together.
Healthy dad, happy life
The role of a dad today is no longer limited or confined to the sections of dated stereotypes such as just being labelled as ‘the breadwinner’. The pressure to step up has increased but with it comes the reward of awareness and parental rights not to mention the joys of having an influence in more of your children’s life and development.
So find the time to look after your health and have fun at the same time. If anything, you will create many wonderful memories together that your children will cherish when they finally let go of your hand to make it in the big wide world.