5 Rules for Fit Parents to Follow
How do you define a “Fit Parent?” Not in the sense that you or someone you know is suitable enough to be a parent, but in the sense that a parent is aspiring to remain or become healthier and more active. When you type “fit” into Google, the definition comes up as follows - “in good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.” I’ve personally always defined fitness as something more than just your physical attributes. When the definition says “in good health,” I would also consider health to be not only physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual as well.
As a new parent for the last two and a half years, there have been numerous adjustments my wife and I have had to make. The biggest adjustment has been to understand and accept the fact that our days don’t revolve around us anymore. At any point we could’ve gotten up and went to the gym, movie theater, special event, whatever. We cannot do that anymore. We have to plan events and other priorities ahead of time and make sure we have a suitable babysitter as well as the extra funds to support paying someone else to watch our child for just a few hours. For two parents that are active and genuinely care about their overall wellness, this has been a huge challenge.
To my new parents reading this, my wife and I read every baby book known to man but the truth is, you really never are prepared. Sometimes it will feel like you are riding a crazy roller coaster and you’re just hanging on for dear life. For two people that care about their health, many sacrifices had to be made such as not spending as much time at the gym or even skipping workouts entirely. Meal prepping happens some weeks and not others. You’ll gain weight and lose weight sporadically since dieting and counting macros isn’t necessarily your top priority.
Let me just say, YOU’LL BE OKAY! With that being said, over the last 2 plus years of being a parent myself, I’ve become aware of some key strategies (or rules) that I’m confident will be able to help all fit parents in terms of maintaining optimal health - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Without further ado, let’s get into it...
Rule #1 - Communicate With Your Spouse
Can I speak to the fellas for a moment? Men, we absolutely suck at communicating effectively with our spouses! Whether it’s pride, shame or some other reason, most of the time we bottle up our emotions until it gets to the point where we explode - ultimately on our own wives which just makes our lives worse. Talk openly regarding your emotions before it’s too late and you go running to your spouse apologizing for something dumb you said.
As fit parents ourselves, life can get a tad bit chaotic. Emotions run high and sometimes our patience gets thrown out of the window. Set a time period daily (or at least weekly) to sit down, possibly once the little one(s) are in bed, turn off the cell phones and simply talk about how you’re feeling and ask each other what each of you can do to improve the situation.
Rule #2 - Keep a Balanced Diet (80/20, 90/10)
Listen, fitness is important to you, if anyone gets it, I do. But once you have a little one running around, we don’t necessarily have the time to spend an excessive amount of hours in the kitchen prepping the best meals possible. For no prep meal prep ideas, click here.
Have some grace for yourself and make the best food choices possible. Focus on quick to cook protein sources such as ground turkey, grass-fed beef, and eggs. You can easily cook these sources inside of a pan within minutes. Combine that with some fresh fruit and veggies that don’t require anything besides washing them off, you have a quick and nutritious meal within minutes.
Rule #3 - Find Ways to Relieve Stress
Self-care is so important and yet many of us neglect it the most. Parents, especially you mamas, carry this belief system somewhat subconsciously, that if you take time for yourself away from your child(ren), you are somehow selfish. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You MUST take time for yourself so you can be the best mom or dad possible.
My good friend and Mindset Coach Jess Durando says “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” If you are constantly in a state of fatigue and never do anything for yourself to recharge your batteries, how in the world do you honestly expect to give your child(ren) the best life possible. I’ve seen it before, eventually bitterness begins to form within parents and the morale of the household begins to decline. Whether it’s from doing a Bible study, meditation, journaling, going to the spa, hanging with friends, or something else, be sure to schedule weekly time periods for fun and relaxation.
Rule #4 - Sleep as Much as Possible
We all should know by now the importance of sleep, especially when it comes to maintaining an optimal level of health. Unless you are the anomaly, most parents with a newborn will undergo a time period of sleep deprivation. Sleep whenever you can. In the beginning, my wife and I would use the (rare) time our daughter slept to catch up on our favorite tv shows or scroll social media. This ended up being a big mistake.
Typically, once we laid our heads down on our pillows, our daughter would wake up. This ultimately left us extremely fatigued and bitter. We would carry that fatigue and bitterness into our jobs and you can only imagine how much our work suffered for it. Listen to me parents, whenever your child sleeps, YOU SLEEP!
Rule #5 - Reward Yourself Weekly
My wife and I made it a routine that every Friday night after a crazy work week and taking care of our daughter we would go out to a restaurant and have a few drinks. What can you and your spouse do, either together or separate, to reward yourself for tackling another week? A lot of the time as parents, going back to that mental belief system that taking time for ourselves is selfish, we are so focused on providing our children with the best things known to man that we forget to do something for ourselves so we feel good. Buy a new pair of sneakers, go purchase some clothes, just do something for yourself. When you look good, you feel good and that mental confidence carries over into your parenting and the morale of the household.
Being fit and maintaining our health goals can be difficult when introducing a new blessing into this world, but it is manageable. Always remember to be open and honest, schedule time for yourself, and find ways to shave off time in things such as meal prepping and working out. I have all the confidence in the world that you are an amazing parent, you just need to believe that for yourself!
To receive more tips for aspiring fit parents, download our Healthy Lifestyle Starter Guide.
"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is the owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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