Keeping fit after fatherhood

Monday March 01 2021

Working out with your children means you are also keeping an eye on them. PHOTO/BIGSTOCK.

By Joan Salmon

Being a new father comes with a lot of changes in every man’s life that could cause disruptions to routines such as working out. However, knowing how important exercising is, there is need to be innovative and make use of whatever time you have to work out.

Work around their time
If you are the kind of father that adores your child and desires to be part of their growing, Don Wandera, a fitness enthusiast and father, says you should work out for the free time you have. “If you can get at least 30 minutes of exercising in the morning, and another 30 in the evening, work with that and make the most of it. Doing a little something here and there is better that doing nothing because the effects of inactivity are harder to reverse,” he says.

Work out with your  children
It is understandable that your work out time has been interrupted and that will remain so for a while. However, Moses Mugwanya, a father, says he has horned the skill of making his little ones part of his workout routine. 

“I could always wait for them to sleep and adjusting to a few minutes here and there was becoming hard. That is why I decided to add my routine to theirs. So, as they lay down on the bed or crawled, I started my push-ups or planks. The only trick to keep them from wandering off or crying was to keep my eyes on them and make as many funny faces as possible,” he says.

There may not be any weights or such equipment in your home, but thinking out of the box will help you make exercising interesting. Adrian Wabomba uses his baby as his weight. “He is a big boy who loves to be carried. So, when I need to do some weight lifting, I just lift him up and down for 20 repititions and we are both happy,” he laughs. Other times, he puts the little boy on his shoulders and they take a walk which does the two of them a lot of good.

Keep it simple
It might not be possible to go to the gym or for that run anymore, and you feel like you are out of options regarding what to do. However, Wandera advises fathers to do some stationary exercises. “For example, you could do stationary running, push-ups, squats, and jumping jacks. They will still help you stay fit without missing out on precious time with your child,” he says.


Give your health priority
Many fathers give up on working out because they feel that 30 minutes is not good enough or that simply doing push-ups will not help them get the body they desire. However, Elijah Muhwezi, a fitness coach, says considering your exercising as essential for your health will keep you working out.  

“Exercising keeps your stress levels down as feel good hormones are released. So, while you may not be getting a tighter body, working out will help you deal better with those sleepless nights. Also, exercises such as walking will help to keep your heart healthy hence warding off several diseases,” he says.

Eat healthy foods
Exercising alone will not help you win the battle against the bulging midsection. That is why Muhwezi advocates for healthy eating. “Eating a balanced diet is important. As such, eating lots of fruits and vegetables coupled with proteins and carbohydrates is better than loading yourself with junk because you are busy. Even when eating out, make informed decisions because getting rid of that bulge is a lot of hard work,” he advises.

While your exercise levels may have reduced a bit, it does not mean that you give up. Elijah Muhwezi, a fitness coach, says: “Even when the muscles are not so strong, at least they will not get flabby. But that can only happen when you keep at it. That also works for eating healthy.” He adds that it also makes it easy when you get more time as the body will not undergo a lot of pain as you get back to rigorous training.