Kids. Work. A marriage. Chores. Who has the time or energy to work out?

It's a common complaint heard from busy dads who've gone from buff to bulging once kids enter their lives. But fatherhood doesn't have to mean the end of your fitness routine. In fact, it hardly requires any heavy lifting at all to stay in shape. All it requires is discipline, a little creativity, and good footwear.

Many of us practically lived at the gym before we became dads. Now when we walk into the gym the trainers are happy to see that we're still alive. The tips below show that you don't even need a gym membership to maintain your physique. Many of the tips require little time or effort and, in some instances, can be integrated into your daily routine.

1. Use Pedal Power

Bike riding is great exercise. Get some bikes for yourself and the kids (perhaps are there are bikes gathering dust in your garage already), and start riding. Start easy, but eventually challenge the family to navigate some hills. The cardio workout is top notch.

2. Go For a Stroll(er)

If your kids are small, invest in a jogging stroller. You might be able to find a used one at a consignment store or online. If you're walking your child anyway, you might as well step up your workout with a run.

3. Park It

Check to see if your local parks have workout trails. If the kids are old enough, let them play while you make use of the free equipment and the time. Make it a regular occurrence and you will see results.

4. Take a Dip

In the summer — or year-round, if you're lucky — take the kids to the pool. It's another great cardiovascular workout and the kids will have a blast, too. Start off easy and work your way up to regular laps.

5. Get on the Floor

Push ups are a terrific way to tone your upper body and you can do them anywhere. Try to work up to 20-30 push ups 3-5 times a day. It's not that difficult and only takes a few minutes.

6. Try the Silent Workout

Isometrics may be a good option for people on the go. While sitting at your desk at work, contract your abdominal muscles, hold for a ten seconds and release. Doing a set of 10 will strengthen your core and no one can tell you're working out! There are lots of other isometric exercises you can do, including pressing your palms together and holding a plank position.

7. Break Time is Workout Time

If you get an hour for lunch and you have a gym nearby, take the first 30 minutes and squeeze in a workout. Even 20 minutes of daily cardio is a benefit to fitness.

8. Don't Be Lazy

Instead of hopping in the elevator at the office, take the stairs. Instead of driving to the store around the corner, walk, bike, or jog. Same thing with your trip to the park. You may have to add a little more time to your excursions, but your health is worth it.

9. Simplify: A Little Goes a Long Way

Build an inexpensive home gym. This is bare bones, but there's a lot you can accomplish with a few dumbbells, a workout ball, and a yoga mat. Find a reputable exercise website — like Men's Health — and follow some of the workout routines. Start off slow, if necessary, to build stamina and strength.

Extra Tips

  • Remember that dies is crucial to your overall health. Consult with your doctor on what foods you should be eating
  • Get regular checkups.
  • Get your doctor's approval before starting any exercise regimen
  • Invest in a good pair of  athletic shoes. This is one area where it pays to spend a little more.

 

We're not physicians here at Parenting Squad. Please check with your doctor before taking on any of these fitness routines.