Keeping fit is hard enough when you’re busy with work and life in general. Keeping fit as a new parent can seem impossible. I became a first-time father a few years ago and it’s been the most rewarding, incredible experience of my life. That being said, I’ve learned first-hand that the struggle is real, as far as staying healthy and fit while raising a child. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, general “what the f__k did I get myself into” mindset...these all chip, or rather tear away at your will to eat right and exercise. My wife and I were both very active pre-baby. Hit the gym together, ran together, the epitome of the active couple. That came to a screeching halt with the arrival of our beautiful daughter. Morning workouts and runs were replaced with constant diaper changes, feedings, and attempts to find our sanity. When I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw, I decided I needed to get back to my love of fitness for myself and for my family. To achieve this, I found the perfect piece of equipment...my daughter.
Since my wife carried our daughter for 9 months, I had no problem (and no choice, lol), rocking the Ergo carrier, and basically wearing my daughter everywhere. I decided to wear her to the local park, where I did my morning pull ups. Being out of shape, plus adding 10 living pounds to my pull ups made it a lot harder than I remembered, but I was just ecstatic to be doing something again, and the motion ended up rocking my daughter to sleep. Unexpected nap time bonus! My daughter became my new every day workout partner. Whether I was wearing her while doing pull ups or bodyweight squats, or holding her against my chest as I did sit-ups, I was slowly getting fitter, stronger AND bonding with my newborn (#GOALS). As she got bigger and stronger herself, I even started using my daughter for make shift kettle bell swings. She loved the swinging motion, as I think most babies do, but if you’re going to try this, make sure you are able to maintain a firm, yet gentle grip on your child. Flying babies...no bueno.
Nutrition as a new parent is its own complicated puzzle to figure out. Before becoming a dad, I ate a pretty solid, yet unextraordinary diet with low to moderate carbs, low fat and lots of protein. Cooking my planned meals was another luxury that went bye-bye with the arrival of the little one. I was eating way more delivery and salty snacks than I should have been, and was paying the price with sluggishness and eater’s remorse. Whether by destiny or serendipity, I began working at Protes while I was still finding my footing as a parent. I found myself literally surrounded by protein chips, so naturally Protes became my snack of choice. Since Protes were so much lower in carbs and fat than my usual snacks (I see you Cheetos), I was able to scratch my snacking itch without feeling I needed to run 5 miles immediately afterwards.
Working out with my child has been extremely gratifying for me, plus I’m (hopefully) teaching my daughter the benefits and importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. Thanks for letting me share just a couple of my personal “fit dad hacks” with you.
- Martin (aka "The Homie"), Director of Marketing at Protes