5 Workout Tips for Busy Working Dads

Modern dads have a lot on their plates, and squeezing a workout into their daily schedule can be challenging. Sure, some dads have everything figured out, but let’s face it; most of us are not that disciplined, especially when you have a 40-hour work week on top of your everyday dad responsibilities.

But don’t worry; even with a busy schedule like that, there are still ways to pack in a workout, even if it’s just two or three times a week. So, here are five workout tips for all you busy working dads.

Set reasonable goals

First, you should set reasonable goals, especially if you haven’t trained in a while. If you are a busy dad and you have a ton of other responsibilities, don’t try to work out five days a week right off the bat. Many people set unachievable goals, and once they cannot meet them, they quit the entire program. So, just for the first few months, or until you put together a manageable workout schedule, stick to just a couple of workouts per week.

Prep in advance

Next, you should prepare everything in advance, from your workout bag to meals. As you are already running on a tight schedule, you don’t want to waste time on packing your gym equipment, prepping your meals, and so on. One of the main reasons why people cancel their workouts is because they forget to prepare their gym stuff in advance.

So, pack everything that you may need for your workout session, from your microfibre gym towel and shirt to your workout shoes and water bottle. Also, always keep this stuff in your car. This way, even if something comes up and you need to reschedule your training session, you will have the equipment with you at all times. Of course, make sure to clean your equipment regularly.

Different types of workouts

Going to the gym is not the only type of workout that counts. A lot of people think that gym workouts are the only form of proper training. So, when they fail to go to the gym, they feel that there is no other way to make up for that workout.

As a dad, you probably know that you won’t always be able to hit the gym. Sometimes your kid will get sick, sometimes you will need to stay longer at work, and sometimes you will simply want to spend more time with your family. Of course, there is nothing wrong with missing your gym appointment. Just make sure to get a workout in one way or the other. For example, taking your kids hiking is as good as any other cardio workout.

Prepare for the unexpected

This is a no-brainer, but it should be pointed out. Let’s face it; being a dad means that working out will never be your top priority; your family comes first, then your job, and so on. On many occasions, you will probably have to cancel your workouts because of your other responsibilities. That is why you shouldn’t have a strict workout regimen. Instead, be flexible and prepare for the unexpected.

Finished work earlier? Great! You have your gym bag in the car, so go for a quick workout. Your wife is sick and you have to take care of your children? Just take your kids to the park and play ball with them, which is another great cardio workout. Missing your Tuesday workout because of your dad responsibilities doesn’t mean a thing if you make up for it the next chance you get.

Adapt your schedule

Finally, the easiest way to stick to your workout schedule is to mirror your children’s practices. So, if your kids go to soccer practice at 6 pm that is when you do your workout. This way, you will be forced to stick to your workout regimen, as you will have to drive your kids to their practices. Furthermore, you get to do something healthy, instead of just sitting and waiting for them to finish.

As you can see, being a dad, working eight hours a day, and training regularly will take some getting used to. However, with these tips, you will have a much easier time. Just remember to set reasonable goals and be flexible with your schedule so that you don’t end up quitting in the first month.


Peter is a parenting writer for Joyful Source magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

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Peter is a parenting writer for Joyful Source magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

8 thoughts on “5 Workout Tips for Busy Working Dads

  1. Very timely article. I have set many goals to get back to the gym, but like you say it is low on the totem pole.
    I will implement some of your advice and get my butt in gear.

  2. Hi, this is a great post and to be totaly honest these tips are good for any person who has a busy schedule, whether they are a parent or not! Thank you for the great tips. I relly like the last one – adapt your schedule – this one sometimes is hard but I guess we have to make it work!

    D xo, from Live Dream Create – D

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