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My Blog

Just Say NO...To the Dad Bod

Here at Mind Body Fitness we know Dads, and we know how hard it is for dads to make time to exercise.  They are usually (not always!) the ones with a more demanding work schedule, and they often don’t feel the same pressure as women to uphold a certain standard of physical attractiveness.  Maybe this is society’s way of saying “yes, men, you are the ones who have to bring home the bacon, and therefore you are not required to do anything else?” I couldn’t disagree more.

Last month everyone seemed to be talking about the “Dad Bod.” If you are not familiar, an essay written by a sophomore at Clemson University declared that girls prefer the Dad Bod, a body that says “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’   Why America is so quick to embrace the sentiment of one random college student is beyond me…None the less, I am here to encourage men to say NO to the Dad Bod.

Why is sporting a mild beer belly such a bad thing?  It doesn’t even have to do with your looks, it’s your overall health that is at risk.  Your abdomen is most dangerous place to carry fat. If you start with a small beer belly at age 30, it will most likely turn into a large gut by age 40.  This can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, decreased lung function, and diabetes.  These are huge risks that men, especially dads, should not be putting on themselves or their families. 

Am I suggesting all men should have a 6 pack?  No way! There is a way to strike a healthy and realistic balance between Meat Head and Dad Bod. My husband is a prime example of a man who leads a healthy lifestyle while maintaining a full work schedule, AND also enjoying life’s indulgences. He works out moderately (cardio, strength, or yoga) 3 or 4 times per week, eats predominantly healthy foods Monday through Friday, and allows himself beer and pizza in moderation. He is by no means a gym rat, but he knows that staying active is good for him. And yes, he wants to look decent in a bathing suit… Which he does! No pot belly or flabby arms… and no 6 pack either.  Just a healthy, toned physique, and hopefully the longevity to go with it.

My suggestions for Dads who want to avoid the Dad Bod?

-  Start slow if you’re a beginner. Just aim or 2 or 3 days per week to start.  Some exercise is better than none!

-  Work out with the family. Take the little one out in a jogging stroller or bicycle on the weekends.  Play some soccer or a game of Frisbee.

-  Start by eating healthy on weekdays. Avoid refined sugars, processed foods, and alcohol as much as possible Monday through Thursday.  Then let yourself indulge a little on the weekend.  But maybe 4 slices of pizza instead of 8?!

-  Do it for your family. They need you to be healthy and happy. Keep in mind… to your kids, you are a hero! Superheros don’t typically have beer bellies. :)

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