Hey fellas. To start, I want to say congratulations to all the new fathers out there. If you’re like me, since the birth of my son, Kaiyam, my life has changed for the better in numerous ways. He’s the first and last thing I think about when I start and end my day. He brings so much happiness that I can’t even imagine life without him, despite him being born just 4 months ago. Life seems to revolve around him, and I couldn’t be happier. But with that comes sacrifice and compromise in different areas of my life. Things that came naturally before his entrance have taken a backseat, which include simple things like sleeping in or late nights hanging out with my friends. As most of us know, adequate sleep, proper nutrition and regular exercise are essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, with the competing priorities of fatherhood, those things can fall to the wayside, and possibly lead to what is referred to as the “Dad Bod”. This buzzword is used to describe men who have developed some extra weight, specifically in the midsection after becoming fathers.

Gaining midsection weight can happen to the best of us, especially when our sleep patterns change, our exercise routine becomes inconsistent and our stress levels fluctuate while adapting to change. However, the major concern comes with the inherent risks that are associated with carrying extra weight in the form of fat around your abdominal area. This extra weight surrounding your internal organs can be more harmful to your health than you may think. Regardless of your overall body weight, carrying excess amounts of belly fat can increase your risk of heart disease, hypertension, colorectal cancer, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. So, although the phrase “Dad Bod” may be used in a playful and light-hearted way to describe a dad’s physique, I would be saddened to see any fathers end up with health concerns that could impact or jeopardize their quality of life.

Although I can’t help you sleep more or force you to eat healthier, I’ve developed a weekly workout routine that has really helped me stay active during the busy week and I hope you’ll be able to use it as a guide or starting point in your efforts to stay active. These workouts are designed to improve strength, balance and cardio so that when your kids start to motor around, you’ll have plenty of energy to play and keep up with them.

You can try these 3 different 30-minute workouts at home with your kids or during their nap time or after they have gone to bed for the night:

Workout 1: Dad Bod Lower Body

Circuit 1:

  1. Goblet Squats x30s
  2. Chair Sit Hold x30-45s
  3. Reverse Lunge x30s per leg
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x3

Circuit 2: 

  1. Single Leg Pistol Squat (to chair) x6 per leg
  2. Single Leg Glute Bridge x15 per leg
  3. Mountain Climber x60s
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x3

Tabata Jump Squats or Air Squats – 4 mins (20s on, 10s rest)

Workout 2: Dad Bod Upper Body

Circuit 1:

  1. Standard Push Ups or Knee Push Ups x30s
  2. Chair Dips x30-45ss
  3. Elbow Plank Holds x30s
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x3

Circuit 2:

  1. Burpees x30s
  2. Dive Bomber Push ups x30-45ss
  3. Superman’s x60s
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x 3

Tabata Bicycle Crunches – 4 mins (20s on, 10s rest)

Workout 3: Dad Bod Full Body

Circuit 1:

  1. Jumping Jacks x60s
  2. Tuck Jumps x30-45s
  3. Pike (shoulder) Push ups x30s
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x3

Circuit 2:

  1. Squat Jacks x60s
  2. Tricep Push ups x30-45s
  3. High Plank Holds x30s
  4. Rest 60s, repeat x3

Tabata Burpees – 4 mins (20s on, 10s rest)

Your kids are your top priority, but don’t forget to prioritize your “Dad Bod” so that you can be at your best for your kids. Give these workouts a try this week!

By Tony Nguyen (featuring Kaiyam Merali Nguyen)