New dads, congrats on your new bundle of joy. If it it hasn’t already, your life is about to change forever in almost every way. The two most precious resources you’ll be missing is time and sleep. But just because you don’t have time to yourself or energy to do anything doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to get your workouts in.
Arrival of a baby will bring in a lot of new changes to your life. Your focus and attention should be directed on upbringing a happy and healthy child. You also should take care of yourself. But prioritize. Fitness is important to me. Not because I’m a personal trainer, but I also need to be taking care of myself and not fall too far behind in my fitness. So, I gave up on few things such as TV, gaming and temporarily suspended my social life. My philosophy is:
do something good today so that you’re better tomorrow.
The mother of your child will need a lot of help. Take initiative, roll up your sleeves and change that diaper. Besides logistical help, the mother of your child will need breaks and time to herself too. Just because she’s on mat leave doesn’t mean you get a free pass. Her body just went through a lot of changes and hormones are all over the map. Provide emotional support as well. Happy wife, happy life. If you make it easy for your wife to take care of the baby she’ll make it easy for you to get your workouts in.
Sleep Whenever You Can
Baby’s napping, and so should you. Try to get as much sleep as possible whenever you can. Working out is good for the body, sleeping is just as good, and for the brain as well. You’ll feel refreshed, motivated and less grouchy.
Set a Routine
Setting a routine might be tough in the beginning. Just when you think you have something established, the baby will throw you a curve ball and you’ll have to start from scratch. Don’t give up, keep at it. But also makes sure you work on setting a routine for yourself as well. This will help your body adjust and adapt better.
Stay Productive and Efficient
If your workouts used to last more than an hour then you’ll have to find a more efficient ways to get the same amount of work done in half the time. Luckily there are many training protocols that can help you accomplish just that, including Tabata. To save time, for the first 3-4 weeks, I skipped the gym and did only Tabata or other forms of HIIT in my basement. My workouts lasted about 20-30 minutes. And when I finally returned to my regular training regiment my fitness level didn’t suffer and I was able to focus on staying productive.
Staying productive and efficient shouldn’t only apply to your workouts, it should also cover other aspects of your life and daily routines. For example, prep a few meals ahead of time and freeze them, give up TV and other time wasters, stock up on baby supplies so that you don’t waste time running around town looking for formula and diapers.
Majority of your success will come from eating well. If you eat like crap, you’ll feel like crap. This effect will be magnified when you’re lacking proper sleep. As I mentioned earlier, take the time to prep a few healthy meals ahead of time. You don’t have to cook up fancy dinners. At this point it’s not about exploring different cuisines. Your primary goals is to properly fuel your body.
Incorporate Your Training Into Your New Lifestyle
Get a workout in at every chance you get. Go for walks. Cut the grass. Shovel the snow. Take out the trash. Don’t avoid any physical activity. Keep Moving.