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Being a good dad is work. A lot of work. And if you’re a new dad or have a little mini on the way, you might not realize (yet) just how physical being a parent is. Of course there’s the fun stuff like playfully tossing them up in the air, helping them learn to toss and catch a ball and the endless rounds of tag and hide and seek. But that comes later.
Just think of it. As a new dad, you’re also now partly responsible for carrying around and caring for a little human every single day. And that human is typically 6 to 10 pounds, right off the bat! That might not seem like much at first — until you’re holding your often-squirmy, oddly distributed and awkwardly placed little weight ball for more time than you probably ever thought possible, over and over again. Factor in a carrier, a stroller and a supply-loaded diaper bag each time you leave your house, and you’ll soon feel like you’re doing the family-style version of a daily army ruck march. Whew!
The good news is that as long as you’re otherwise healthy, your body is quite capable of adapting to dadhood and whatever it brings. We humans have been doing it for ages after all, so chances are you’ll be just fine. You can help the process along and possibly save yourself some unnecessary aches and pain, however, by putting in a little work in some key areas now. Here are some common “dad tasks,” along with great exercises you can add to your workouts to keep you strong and ready to establish (or maintain as the case may be), your cool dad status. Always be sure to warm up and cool down appropriately, and check with your doctor to make sure these moves work for you.
Dad Duty: carrying the baby carrier and/or stroller
What It Works: core, legs, low back, shoulders and biceps
Dad Training Moves:
Dad Duty: picking up your kid, over and over again
What It Works: Core, arms, shoulders, upper back, abs, legs
Dad Training Moves:
Dad Duty: pacing the floor or standing still holding your kid
What It Works: core, upper and lower back, shoulders
Dad Duty: reaching into the back seat to grab a fallen toy/binkie/blanket — or to lay down the law for older kids
What It Works: shoulder, upper back plus shoulder and trunk mobility