THE SU­PER DAD’S

Since June marks Fa­ther's Day, we give you a fool­proof plan for dad­dies on the go

Cebu Living - - Health - By Ar­mand Men­doza

Most of us know that keep­ing a healthy and strong body is es­sen­tial for op­ti­mal per­for­mance, preven­tion of dis­ease, and re­sis­tance to stress. How­ever, for most dads who work hard to earn a liv­ing, health usu­ally comes last in the list of pri­or­i­ties. With nu­mer­ous meet­ings, tight dead­lines, and hec­tic/stress­ful sched­ules, most dads of­ten tend to for­get about lead­ing a healthy life­style and re­sort to un­healthy habits like in­ac­tiv­ity ( lack of ex­er­cise), overeat­ing, junk food binges, drink­ing ( al­co­hol), and smok­ing just to cope up with the stress.

The good thing though is that most health ex­perts rec­om­mend reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and proper eat­ing habits for peo­ple who need to be more pro­duc­tive at work and re­sis­tant to stress. In a study done by the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia in 2010, re­searchers found that even with short bouts of ex­er­cise ( 30 to 40 min­utes, three times a week), sub­jects showed re­duced lev­els of over­all stress and ac­tu­ally felt the stress-buffer­ing ef­fects of ex­er­cise.

Yet, de­spite all the re­minders and op­tions avail­able, most dads still have a hard time get­ting the rec­om­mended reg­u­lar dose to make their reg­u­lar fit­ness ef­forts re­sult in bet­ter health, in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity, and re­sis­tance to stress. There­fore, a call for a new strat­egy to­ward bet­ter phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and a health­ier diet is needed. Here are sev­eral tips that you can fol­low right away to a healthy life­style:

START A WALK­ING PRO­GRAM

Walk­ing is the eas­i­est form of ex­er­cise. You don’t need spe­cial equip­ment or pay gym mem­ber­ship fees. You can walk in the park, in the mall, or around the vil­lage. Start with a 15- minute ses­sion and work your way up to more min­utes per day. You can do it in sev­eral in­stall­ments through­out the day. In the long term, you should be able to walk at least 40 to 60 min­utes per day. Add walk­ing breaks in the of­fice like us­ing the stairs to go to dif­fer­ent de­part­ments/ floors or walk around the of­fice in­stead of send­ing on­line mes­sages to fel­low co­work­ers. The key is to get you off the chair and move around.

KEEP A TREA­SURE CHEST

Keep a stash of healthy snacks in the of­fice or in the car. Th­ese snacks help you stay away from un­healthy items like chips and sweets. Make sure you have sev­eral handy snacks like gra­nola bars, wheat crack­ers, and yo­gurt. They also make for easy meals es­pe­cially when you’re on the go.

YOUR BODY IS YOUR MA­CHINE

Sim­ple body­weight ex­er­cises like push- ups, sit- ups, and squats/ lunges work as well as weight ma­chines in de­vel­op­ing over­all body strength and tone. Start an easy rou­tine of 20 to 30 rep­e­ti­tions of push- ups, sit- ups, and squats and do it three times a week. It only takes 5 to 10 min­utes a day, but it de­liv­ers amaz­ing strength gains.

GET PER­SONAL WITH YOUR TRAIN­ING AND SET SELF- RE­MINDERS

Set­ting up re­minders ( on your phone, for ex­am­ple) to let you know that it’s time to eat lunch will help you avoid skip­ping meals, which is known to lead to overeat­ing later on in the day and may even cause stom­ach ul­cers in the long run. Set up alarms in your com­puter to re­mind you to stretch and take reg­u­lar walk­ing breaks. Get­ting reg­u­lar stretches and walk­ing breaks dur­ing of­fice hours help avoid chronic low back pain.

JUMP YOUR WAY TO FIT­NESS

You can do jumping jacks or bring a jump rope to work. By do­ing this for just 15 min­utes, you can burn up to 200 calo­ries in­stantly.

DANCE AWAY YOUR TROU­BLES

Danc­ing in any form can in­stantly amount to 100 calo­ries for 20 min­utes of ef­fort. So turn up the vol­ume of your iPod and dance away in the pri­vacy of your of­fice — you can also opt to down­load a dance fit­ness video on your phone and squeeze in a quick dance work­out.

WA­TER BOT­TLES = IN­STANT DUMB­BELLS

Use wa­ter bot­tles as makeshift dumb­bells so you can in­stantly do fa­mil­iar gym ex­er­cises like bi­ceps curls, shoul­der presses, and weighted lunges/squats. They add more re­sis­tance to your in- of­fice gym rou­tine.

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