The other day I was helping out at our oldest daughter’s school. She is in kindergarten and I volunteered for playground duty. That basically can mean two things: 1) I stand and watch the kids play to make sure everyone is safe or 2) I actively play with the kids, engage them and have loads of fun.
I chose the latter of the two options, had a blast, and was particularly excited after I ran into a mom the next day whose daughter is in class with mine. She said, “Are you the dad who was running around on the playground with everyone? My daughter did NOT stop talking about it all night after school.” I smiled ear to ear, because they had as much fun as me. And, as a dad, my goal is to be able to do that forever. I have four tips to help you do that as well.
1. Move More
First, everyone needs to move more. According to the American Heart Association, the average American sits an average of 16 hours each day. In fact, data suggests even if you exercise regularly, sitting can counteract that exercise. What does that mean? It means that in addition to regular exercise, it’s important to move regularly throughout the day. Set your timer for 60 minutes and stand up, walk around for 5 to 10 minutes, then come back to what you were doing.
2. Eat Protein with Every Meal
As we age, we unfortunately can lose muscle. In fact, this starts at the ripe old age of 30 and it increases at a more rapid pace every decade thereafter. One way to combat this is by eating more protein. Not just eating more, but actually eating protein more frequently. Most data suggests people eat very little protein in the morning and lunch and too much at dinner. However, research continues to show that the optimal amount of protein to eat is 20 to 30 grams at each meal to preserve muscle. This is about the same size as the palm of your hand, so aim for that amount at each meal.
3. Add Resistance Training
Muscle is like the engine in your body, kind of like the engine in your car. The bigger the engine, the more efficient the machine. Resistance training helps build strong muscle. That means adding resistance training regularly is key to optimal health and longevity. Aim to add resistance training at least twice per week. Check with your medical provider before starting any exercise program.
4. Eat More Omega-3s
You’ve surely heard about the importance of omega-3 fats and your heart, but what about brain, skin, joints, and really every single cell inside your body? Running around with kids, like I was yesterday, could surely make folks who aren’t normally too active pretty sore. Omega-3s can help. So how do you add omega-3 fats? First, certainly add oily fish to your diet. Fish like wild sardines, wild anchovies, wild salmon, mackerel and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3s. Then, on top of that, add a high-quality fish oil daily to your routine. It’s the most important supplement you can take. Most data suggests that taking 3 grams of high-quality fish oil daily is important for heart health, as well as all the other benefits mentioned.
Those four simple tips can have a large impact on your overall health. Stay strong, stay healthy, and you’ll be ready to tackle all the joys and challenges ahead on this journey called “fatherhood.”
Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD for Nordic Naturals
Disclaimer: Nordic Naturals is a paid sponsor for the Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) Campaign 2015. The opinions expressed by Nordic Naturals, Christopher R. Mohr, and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of PAM or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Nordic Naturals or Christopher R. Mohr. Always consult with your medical provider regarding any personal health questions or decisions (including nutrition, diet, and exercise).
Christopher R. Mohr, Dad’s, Fatherhood, health, Nordic Naturals, Omega 3 ‘s, PhD, Pregnancy Awareness Month, RD