Hey Dads: Need Help Getting Back Into Shape? Here’s How!

Scott Keppel spends the majority of his days at the gym. As a father of three, certified fitness trainer and the owner of Scott’s Training Systems in Chandler, AZ, he knows firsthand the challenge that staying healthy and fit can be with balancing life’s other responsibilities. He admits that being a fit dad requires effort and determination, but shares that the benefits go well beyond simply being able to do things he once did in his youth. For Keppel, staying fit helps him to be a more effective father. He is more confident, feels better physically and mentally and is able to be a good parent as a result of staying fit.

When asked to define the key to success for men looking to regain the fitness level they experienced as a youth, Keppel says, “Make fitness a priority, be consistent with your plan (whatever that might be) and train for longevity.” Keppel encourages people to recognize that it will take time to get fit and encourages them to be consistent and patient. Making fitness a lifestyle is the best way to maintain long-term success.

Many men are looking to recapture the fitness level of their younger selves. Although things change with age, a lot of men have the ability to achieve a greater level of fitness given the proper dedication and training. The following tips will help jump-start your progress toward being a fitter and healthier dad.

Know Your Age
While it may seem like time hasn’t passed, for those men who haven’t maintained a regular workout routine, getting back into shape takes some time. The key to success is to set small incremental goals and work to achieve them slowly and gradually.

According to Keppel, while many of the men he works with want to obtain a better physique, their primary goal is to feel as fit as they did when they were younger. Incorporating a well-rounded fitness routine can go a long way toward achieving that. Commit to a basic plan and be consistent in executing it. Do not “overdo” it in the beginning as you are more prone to injury and burn-out. While your body might be slower to respond initially, persistence will eventually pay off.

Focus on Nutrition
People often think that the key to achieving a good physique and regaining health is dependent on exercise and they fail to recognize the vital role nutrition plays. It’s important to stay active, but diet is also essential to losing weight and getting fit. The Department of Health and Human Services defines physical fitness as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve relating to their ability to perform physical activity.”

In order to perform better, you have to fuel your body with the proper energy, vitamins and nutrients. Diet is inextricably combined with fitness and paying careful attention to what you eat can quickly help to increase your fitness ability and shape your physique. When working to get back into a healthy routine, focus on diet: eating regularly and making healthy choices. Consult with a certified nutritionist or dietician to help you develop a customized plan that meets your individual needs.

Develop a Fitness Plan
Time is valuable, so creating a fitness plan will help you stay on track and complete your workout effectively and efficiently. At the start of each week, schedule the time you intend to exercise similar to the way you schedule a work meeting or other life commitment. Boston-based fit dad Mark Warren, who is both Level 1 CrossFit certified and a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo, attributes much of his success to being involved in CrossFit. Being part of a like-minded community helps him stick to a plan and continually work toward a goal. To help stay committed to a schedule, be accountable to yourself by making your goals public and sticking to a plan.

Set Goals
Setting goals are vital for success. Some examples might include setting a goal to complete a race, participate in a physique competition or join a sports team like basketball or soccer.

Make It a Family Affair
Being a parent is a priority and you want to ensure you devote time to building quality relationships with your children. Incorporating fitness into your lifestyle not only sets a good example for your children, it also helps you get in shape and creates lasting bonds. Find ways to involve your children in fitness. Moving in general is good for you and kids love to move. Teach them ways they can be active and participate with them.

When You Need More Than Exercise
Max Muscle Nutrition Franchisee and supplement guru Scott Herkes weighs in on some helpful Max Muscle product tips for fit dads.

1. When getting back to the gym, consider a protein supplement. Good choices are MaxPro Elite or Pure Whey.

2. Support your immune system and aid in muscle recovery with Max GlutaMatrix.

3. Try a pre-workout drink such as FBX 2.0, TriTOR, StimoVEX, or FBXXX to help with energy levels on days that might be skipped due to lack of energy.

4. Vit-Acell or Men’s Multi are good options for daily vitamins.

5. For those with nagging shoulder pain, tennis elbow or bothersome knees, try Joint Relief. It is a unique product with natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as ginger and turmeric, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

6. 2TX is a natural testosterone booster that can really help as men age if they have a lot of belly fat. The tire around the middle is a sure sign that estrogen levels are up and 2TX can give renewed vigor, strength and it helps with libido.