A healthy lifestyle for dad

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I’ve had to admit an awkward truth to myself. It’s one many a parent of young children will probably relate to: I need to lead a healthier lifestyle.

healthy lifestyle, healthier lifestyle, exercise, dadbloguk, dadbloguk.com, health and fitness
A picture taken a couple of years ago when Helen and I took part in a fun run. Note the running gear and bottle of water. You can expect to see more of this from me in future.

It’s not as if things are that bad. Every single day starts with a freshly made juice drink.

I also exercise and limit my intake of alcohol, ensuring I don’t touch the stuff for several days each week. I’m also taking steps to ensure I drink more water.

I don’t, however, feel like I’m doing quite enough. After that early morning juice drink, I often drink an incredibly strong coffee and have a second after the school run. I’ll usually have a salad for lunch but dinner may be devoid of any fruit or vegetables.

My approach to exercise? Well, it goes it fits and starts. I’ll run almost every day for about a month, then it won’t happen for a month, then it will happen, then it won’t and so on.

It says a lot that my running kit features two football tops. One of them is a 20-year-old Barnsley top from when I was a student living in South Yorkshire. The second is an Oldham Athletic top given to me as a present by a friend of mine who supports the team.

When it comes to eating, I am genetically pre-programmed not to do gluttony. Nonetheless, I will pick at the kid’s food when I’m cooking it and pick at any food they don’t finish. It’s a dreadful habit and there’s no excuse for doing this.

When life is a whirlwind of school run, pre-school run, after school / after pre-school activity clubs and domestic chores, I seem to forget about myself. Blogging also eats into my time.

I recently had an appointment with a nurse at my local GP’s surgery. It was to have a health check for those over the age of 40 (I’m only just over the line, but I do qualify).

I was very fortunate. I passed every test with flying colours, although I was having an “off” month with regards to exercise and was told I should do more.

I can’t deny it, age plays a part. I don’t feel any older or less fit than I did than in my twenties and thirties. If I’m to have a further health check in my fifties and pass it with flying colours also, well, I need to make sure I’m looking after myself now.

I am formulating a plan. First, I need to get some better running gear, something that says “this guy is serious.” Looking at my running kit and laughing, as I often do, doesn’t really suggest the correct mental attitude.

Second, I’ve been watching my kid’s karate lessons from the sidelines for months now. It looks like a fantastic martial art and I am seriously tempted to give it a go myself. No promises, but ask me in a couple of months and you may find me the proud owner of a karate gi.

As for diet, the picking at food must end. I may also introduce a second juice drink at lunchtime to make sure I’m getting all the fresh fruit I need.

When it comes to water, I’ve started keeping a water bottle with me at all times. Gone are the days when I would throw a glass of water down my throat every time I passed a tap to stay hydrated. Instead I sip gently throughout the day.

I say I have one with me at all times, but I have my forgetful moments. If I need to spend a morning in front of a computer screen, be it blogging or dealing with domestic affairs, having a water bottle by my side sometimes gets overlooked. I need to be more disciplined.

I’m fortunate, I have good health. As I get older, I want to keep it. Modern family life doesn’t always support such activities. It’s down to me to make a greater effort.

Are you desperate to get in better shape? What steps have you taken to improve your lifestyle? Please do comment below, I’m looking for inspiration.

6 thoughts on “A healthy lifestyle for dad”

  1. I took up walking & running. And fast occasionally.
    Just like you wrote I needed to lead a healthier lifestyle too!

  2. Cycling to work has been brilliant. Lost two stone in the first couple of years (7 mile commute). Don’t seem to get any quicker or fitter any longer at nearly a decade in, but it certainly stops things getting any worse despite my sedentary job and love of good food and drink. Brilliant mood stabiliser too, fights the winter blues very effectively. Did the same NHS check as you (I think) & it suggested more resistance training- not sure how I’m going to be able to make that happen so reliably. Gym membership is all well and good, but I’ve always found it’s the first thing to go out the window when life gets busy on all fronts.

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