My advice would be to give yourself permission to accept that in this chapter of life, it's natural to deprioritize things to attend to the very real and immediate needs of a brand new person. This is not the time to buckle down and train for your personal Olympics or feel guilty that you are not.
As a business owner and papa of two little girls, I often deprioritize my training for the sake of other responsibilities. That said, I move every day, many times a day.
Often fitness is marketed as "me time", something that you give to you. That's certainly part of it, but a better definition of fitness includes what it helps you do for others. I incorporate as much movement as I can with my girls. And not in a "use your baby as an exercise device" way, nor do I strap them into a stroller while I exercise. Instead, I hang from whatever grabs my hand, I get down on the ground, crawl after and roll around with my 1 year old (Willa), and chase my 5 year old (Audrey) around the playground. I carry them both and balance and dance.
I take care of them every Monday --Papa Day -- and we've also taken up a goal of walking all the conservation trails in my area. We've made it a mission and there are stickers from the city when we finish! So I put on my weight vest (Willa) and hold hands with Audrey as we head into the woods. Audrey likes to look for roots and rocks to jump on and balance. We call it forest gymnastics. We often stop for a picnic and to take picture of bugs or flowers we want to look up.
As an aside, many people connect the feeling of fitness with cardio. Whether it's the breathlessness of running, spin class, bootcamp, or CrossFit, people have been overfed that feeling of fitness. I used to be a highly competitive endurance athlete (running, cycling, and rowing), so a big part of my personal journey long before children was to let go of an identity that centered upon that feeling. I have become much more able, happy and healthy having reoriented myself around building variety of progressive strength and power and movement abilities. As a 40 year old with a 1 year old, I see holding up my movement capacity as integral piece of being a physically and mentally present father -- and perhaps one day a grandfather -- for my future family.
I'm a big believer in a fitness path that relies on minimal equipment. Many fundamental patterns of movement are available anywhere you have gravity. For example:
- Locomotion (walking, running, sprinting, crawling, swimming),
- Squat (crouching on your feet with or without a baby in arms)
- Jump (jumping and vaulting)
- Ground (rolling, and transitioning to and from the ground)
- Suspend / Pull (hanging and swinging / climbing and pullups)
- Support / Push (planks / pushups)
In addition to being a business owner and an active, present, and fit dad, Josh can be seen helping people with life activities they can no longer do -- shoveling, moving furniture, climbing on roofs. He is also currently in the midst of a complete renovation of an old farmhouse.