10 ways to avoid the Dad Bod

The Dad Bod is all the rage! You haven’t heard about it yet? Well Dad, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon, stop going to the gym and start hitting the 12oz curls. After all, your wife will love the way your new body moves to support her head during movie night. Watch the spare tire gently begin to roll in as you voluntarily let the chisel fall off. Burp.

Until it dawned on you that being unhealthy isn’t your cup of tea. Admit it, you kinda like the idea of walking up to school to pick up your daughter when a few of the teachers and even your daughter’s friends stop and giggle as the Fit Dad walks by. Perhaps you just like the idea of doing everything in your power to not just be alive, but able to physically run and play with your grandchildren. The Dad Bod just isn’t in your lexicon, but how do you stay trim and present for the family?

Few men have become fathers and physically added more free time into their lives. Come to think of it, if you happen to run into one of these guys, please have them contact Daily Dad right away because they have likely developed ‘time travel’.

The point is that as a parent, perhaps multiple times over, it is simply tougher to keep the Dad Bod off than it was pre-junior. But what’s a guy to do? Even the most ambitious and involved spouse will expect you to change a diaper, or to watch the kids for an hour here or there while she runs to the grocery store on the other side of town for that one special bag of gluten-free organic coconut flour.

Here are a few suggestions for the active dad that allows you to be involved with your child, maintain your fitness and keep your marriage happy – and let’s be honest spicy, too.

1. Running

There are reports coming in all across the country that strollers are not just for moms and babies. Hard to believe isn’t it? Well it’s true, there are actually no rules that state: Dads can’t use strollers. In fact, strollers now are made with the active dad in mind.

Many strollers have big wheels that accommodate even the fastest of runners, such as the BOB Sport Utility Single Stroller – bigger wheels usually mean you can move faster. Others come with a smooth tread for city slickers, while their counter-part is wheel grooved for the off road poppa bear. Say you have lots of turns to make? There are stroller wheels that have front gearing that isn’t fixed, such as the BOB Revolution Flex Stroller.

Ok competitive guys, your 5k time isn’t what it used to be. So what? Bring home the bling once more and win the stroller division. Instant testosterone boost as your lady friend is sure to be smiling at the finish line wondering how SHE got so lucky.

2. Biking

This is great for any father who is in training. Need to add a little extra oomph to your workout and there is no wind today? Just trail along something like the InSTEP Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer or the Burley Kids’ Encore Trailer and all of a sudden your trailor-less rides are a breeze. Adding your little one(s) to your ride also takes away any slipstream so you are going to be full-on quad burning mode.

 3. At Home Cross Fit

Not sure where to start? Try these 10 Crossfit Moves For the New Dad. Most of these movements can be done with your kid. If you have more than one kiddo, added bonus as the weight will change with every round! Little to no equipment is required here and if you do the suggested “Tabata” routine you’ll get a great workout in 16 minutes flat.

4. Backyard Yoga…

Or living room yoga for the north of the Mason-Dixon line Dad.

Yoga is more of a mom thing, no doubt about it. But there is no reason why you can’t have the kids run around the back yard while you downward dog. The occasional “I gotta run and track her down” is inconvenient, but it adds a bit of a cardio twist as well. Consider adding a sandbox to your backyard or just a few favorite toys to keep the young-uns busy.

5. Overlapping dynamic time schedules

This is for the guys who still “have to” get to the gym/studio/box/etc. You just have to have that hour to yourself. Well, being a happy dad and a fit Dad are not mutually exclusive, until you enroll your wife in the vision. This means that your schedule may need to flex to incorporate hers. Have a time schedule, but keep it flexible for that lovely lady in your life.

6. Early morning jogs and the Never Fail Alarm

The best time to go for a run might be early in the morning. Raise your hand if you have set this intention before and even set the smartphone alarm? Only when you break that early morning eye crust your eyeballs let you down again – the clock really does read 5:00. So you hit snooze 58 times and still wake up at 6:45.  

The best way to foil that early AM fog is to use this Dad approved alarm: stick your phone in an empty drinking glass. 

Here is why:

  • Major PITA (pain in the arse) to fish out the phone and kill the alarm.
  • The glass amplifies the buzzing or ringing. Up you go!

For posterity, Daily Dad did a survey and it turns out, 9 out of 10 dads agree a dry phone is better than a wet phone so be sure to keep that glass empty for this experiment.

7. Cutting your own grass

What?? Yep, time to fire the Lawn Doctors, save a few pesos, and avoid the Dad Bod by cutting your own grass. There are 3 benefits here:

  1. 24-30 minutes cutting the grass is a form of aerobic exercise. Booyah!
  2. Cutting the grass with shorts and t-shirt (or go shirtless) is optimal because it gives you Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been clinically proven in 75% of HOA’s to increase energy, increase sex drive, and decrease beard itch.  Sadly, this is not an actual study, but click here for a real report on the importance of Vitamin D.
  3. Tan Dad = Sexy Dad.

So now a fit, bearded, and tan dude is coming to dinner tonight. Somebody tell the Dos Equis guy he’s no longer the most interesting man in the world, and take your seat at the head of the table.

8. Intelligent Eating

You knew it was coming. Put the 6 egg omelet on the shelf for breakfast, pass on that extra beer and eat your fruits and veggies. It’s true that you are what you eat. Does it have to taste bad? No. But c’mon, do you really need bacon on your quiche, your salad, your 4:00 BLT, and wrapped around your pork on the grill? Ok, put the bacon on the BLT, but cut it out elsewhere. 

9. Meditation

Bet you didn’t see THIS one coming. Harvard studies have shown that meditation has indeed “been associated with improved performance on attention-based tasks”. The Dad who wants to avoid the Blaah Dad Bod has to start with making intelligent and focused decisions. Ever feel like you would start something and then all of a sudden: SQUIRREL!!! Sit still, focus and be sure you finish what you start, especially your workouts and intention to eat well, and start your day out right.

10. Late night projects

Or ‘early in the morning projects’ for the early birds.

Got a full load? Don’t do your work when it’s dinner time or family breakfast time. Go to sleep early and work on that project first thing in the morning. Or vice versa, work on it late. Be present and focused when the family is around. Perhaps you can even go running with your toddler or work out by playing hoops with the kids. Great way to family bond and stay in shape.


Your family will be so proud of an involved, focused and fit poppa bear.


Photo Credits: Jay Breitlow at Happy Dad’s Inc.Sam

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Jay Breitlow

A former pessimistic nuclear engineer turned optimistic and enthusiastic Chiropractor, author, Coach/Consultant, Blogger, wellness speaker and a very happily married husband and a very Happy Dad of 1.5 Children. “My passion is to help people find the authentic greatness that is already inside them – just waiting to be unleashed.”

Dr Jay can be found at his blog HappyDadsInc.

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