With busy schedules, it can be tough for dads to stay in shape. Metro Detroit experts share a few tips for fathers to maintain their health.
By Alexa Caccamo
It’s hard for anyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but when you become a parent, staying in shape can be a challenge.
Dads, just like moms, can find it hard to find balance their health when obligations such as work and raising families get in the way. According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a man’s physical activity decreases when he becomes a father.
“Although females appear to take a greater role in child rearing, the physical activity of males may also decrease because males typically have higher levels of physical activity than females,” the study states. “This could result in a greater decrease in the physical activity of males as a result of parenthood.”
Local health experts say it’s important for fathers to have a healthy lifestyle — maintaining a healthy diet and exercising — even in the midst of their busy schedules.
There are two aspects of fitness and health that should be met: good nutrition and a regular workout routine.
Dr. Rosemarie Chirco D’Angelo, a visiting assistant professor of interdisciplinary health sciences at Oakland University, says that as men grow older, their metabolism changes, which is why eating healthy is significant if dads want to stay in shape.
The metabolism rate is based on the individual, D’Angelo says. “(Men’s) level of activity, nutrition, all of these different factors play a role, but age itself plays a role in metabolism,” she says.
The food men consume is also a contributor to their health. D’Angelo details how fathers can stay in shape in terms of their diet.
“For a busy dad on the go, I would not recommend a ‘diet’ but a balanced diet,” she says. “I would make sure that you get enough fruits and vegetables in because that’s where the vitamins are. Overall, healthy, well-balanced diet is the way to go.”
With good nutrition comes exercise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity exercise” a week for adults.
Arpad Eisert, 41, a Shelby Township native, is a trainer who works with dads ages 35-45.
Throughout his training career, he says that one of the biggest mistakes dads can make when it comes to training is not dedicating the time out of their schedules to work out.
“You can’t come up with excuses, especially in Michigan where it is even harder to work out six to seven months out of the year due to the weather,” he says.
For dads to stay in shape and follow consistent workout patterns, Eisert says a sustainable workout routine and dedication are the keys to staying fit.
“For fathers with crazy schedules, I would recommend working out three to four times out of the week,” he says. “Every day, fitness has to be the bottom line; everything has to revolve around it.”
Clinton Township native Bill Johns, 47, is a father with a family and full-time job as a construction contractor. He tries to stay in shape by training with Eisert.
“I work out five days a week and it gets you going, it gets your blood running, gets your mind going; it’s important,” he says.
Johns says he finds balance with his work, family and fitness by working out at times that work best for him.
“It’s challenging for sure. When I’m not working out, I spend time with my family,” he says. “Since I have a job and a family, I work out in the morning instead of the afternoon. It’s a routine, and I don’t want to break it.”