An awesome wife, mother and now published author!

Awesome

I am so proud of my wife today. Not only is she incredible at the wife thing, an amazing mum to our three children and the best friend I have, today she adds the life long dream of writing a book to that list.

What makes this even more awesome is that she wrote the book in the year we had our third child, so had more than enough to do as it was. Most of the early drafts were written between 4-6am after F’s last feed of the night and before the older ones woke for the day. That alone blows my mind away.

Some of you may know her as Mummy Tries (she has a pretty ace blog too), I know her as Reneé, my love and my biggest inspiration.

The book is called Become the Best You: Make Peace with the Past and Break the Cycle of Dysfunction. If there is any part of your life you wish were a little better, I encourage you to check it out, buy it, read it and share the links with all your friends.

There is something in this book for everyone. It’s available on Amazon here.

Linking up

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Becoming a healthy inspiration – building a home gym

I wrote a few weeks ago about sneaking extra walking into your day as a way to get fitter. I think it’s a great way to start but eventually you will run out of extra steps you can feasibly add to your day.

To carry on making progress you will need to find another way to add a little more exercise each day. I think the simplest way to do this is to create a micro gym at home. It does not need to be complicated or expensive, the equipment you actually need to get started is minimal. You can have a very worthwhile and useful home gym with only these items:

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That round thing is a kettlebell. You don’t actually need one those, just something heavy to press, row, squat and swing. To be honest a dumbbell set would probably be better, it’s just kettlebells are all I have so that’s what I took a picture of. The other bit if kit is a doorway pull up bar for hanging off and pull ups. Add push ups and you’re set.

The total investment will be around £50. That’s less than a month’s gym membership with the bonus that it’s always open and no one else sweats on the equipment.

That’s it, no more is needed for now. Use these in a sensible way a few times a week and good things will happen. Make it hard enough to count but easy enough to be able come back another day. Consistency will give you way more than beating yourself into the ground. This is an investment in your health, an easy workout done 3-4 times a week for years will pay far bigger dividends than a monster one that you can’t sustain beyond week one.

How about you, do you have any tips for busy parents wanting to keep in shape? How do you for exercise into your day?

Dad Creek

Becoming a healthy inspiration – taking baby steps

Convenience is one of the most important things in making exercise a sustainable part of a parent’s life.

The are a million and three exercise regimes out there that all say they are the best for reasons x, y & z. They might be right, but if it doesn’t fit into your life then it’s worthless.

There’s a phrase out there – the best workout out is the one you actually do. The point is that the details are far less important than consistency. As a parent, to be consistent we need to easily fit it into our already busy days.

So how can you do that? Firstly get away from the idea that special equipment or people are necessary to get healthy. This idea is a barrier to getting started. All we really need to do is move more today than we did yesterday.

By starting small and adding a bit at a time we can build little health habits that are much easier to maintain. One of the simplest ways to add more movement to your day is extra walking:

  • Take the stairs at work instead of the lift. If going all the way to your floor is too much, start with how ever many floors you can and add a floor each week. The most is important thing is to walk the stairs first then get the lift, you are far more likely to keep it up that way.
  • If you take public transport for a small part of your commute, walk it instead. It’ll probably be quicker than the time you would have spent queueing, pushing and having armpits in your face.
  • On non-work days, if you can walk it in under 30, then walk it. This is the hardest one. Let’s face it, transporting children, their associated ‘stuff’, shopping etc on foot is not easy, but that’s also kind of the point. You get exercise pushing, carrying etc, they get to walk, run and scoot. It’s good for everyone.

None of this is particularly innovative. The main point is to take a journey you would have made while sitting/standing in one place and walk it instead.

It takes a while but eventually you will build a habit of walking instead instead of the lift, bus or car. I started taking the stairs at work a few years ago and it took about two weeks before I went to the stairs without thinking.

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How about you? Any other ideas of how to sneak easy extra movement into busy parent’s day?

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#FitFamilyFriday

Why being a healthy parent matters

There are few elements to why I think being a healthy parent is important. How I want to look and feel right now and hopefully inspiring good habits play a big role, but it’s also about the future and how my family ages together.

There is a global trend to more personal responsibility for financial and physical wellbeing in retirement. By the time I’m old enough to get it, the state pension age in the UK will be at least 68 years old, that’s an extra 3 years compared to my parents.

That might not seem like much but as we also seem to be trending towards generally poorer health we may head into a situation where we are more dependent on others when older, but society is not in a position to provide that care. So who will? Your children, their children – is that fair on them? Especially if these trends continue and they face the same problems?

I don’t think it is and see any action that improves my family’s health as an investment, like a physical pension. These actions may not reverse the societal trend but can at least try and limit any burden on my family in older life, and hopefully start a mini-trend with them so that they do the same.

Is it a bit boring? Yeah, maybe sometimes. But saving financially for retirement is not particularly exciting either and many would consider it pretty irresponsible to not do that.

Being a healthy inspiration to your kids

In addition to being about lifting and moving this blog is about me trying to be a healthy inspiration to my kids. The idea is to be a good role model, hopefully encouraging them to follow suit and build good habits.

One thing I’ve starting doing is to exercise in front them more often. This is to make my exercise more real to them, instead of just something Daddy does after they go to sleep. It’s been great to get them more involved and start to teach them some ‘gym rules’.

There’s more to being a healthy inspiration than just the physical though. If me (and Wifey!) bring up our children so they are physically healthy but can’t think for themselves, or are close minded or inconsiderate then we have failed just as much as if they were overweight sofa surfers.

I’m going to start reflecting that here more often and share stuff about nurturing good little people by exposing them to diverse experiences – different sights, sounds, foods and a variety of music. Plus anything else I think is interesting and relevant.