New Father Workout
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Theres
just something about getting as many near-free turkeys as Im willing to
go back into the store for that puts it a notch above other holidays I get
off from work. We bought a freezer a few years back just to store
all of the turkeys we buy. The beauty of it is that I get turkey
club sandwiches all year round.
Turkey, of course, is one of the most dangerous foods on the planet.
Thats why most people only eat it once a year at Thanksgiving, because
they tend to put on so many pounds when they have it. I find turkey
to be an invigorating food, especially when I carry one up the
thirty-seven steps from the street to my front door. I heartily
recommend having two or three frozen turkeys around for when you feel like
a real workout. Personally, I get a great deal of satisfaction
knowing that Im taking off pounds using the very same turkey that will
help me put them back on.
This year as I unloaded a half-dozen turkeys from the van, I made an
amazing discovery: my son Skylar weighs just about the same as a
good-sized Tom. The challenge with the Turkey Workout is that those
suckers are cold and the plastic bags I use to carry them bite into my
hands. They also dont have much personality below 32 degrees.
Skylar, on the other hand, laughs and giggles. Its only taken me a few
days to develop a whole new workout using him instead of a turkey, and I
find that its also a good chance for me to get in some quality time
with him. Here are some of the highlights for those of you with
turkey-sized children of your own:
Stomach crunches: A laughing, bubbly baby on your stomach while youre
trying to sleep in bed provides a good distraction during those painful
abdominal crunches. Theres no chance of cheating using your
hands to support your head because youll need both of them to keep your
child from falling over. Advanced crunchers can breath quickly to
bounce the baby like a horse.
Upper body workout: Place your child on your shoulders and walk around the
house. As you try to avoid low doorways, youll strengthen your
neck muscles while your child individually strengthens each lock of your
Power lifts: Bend over and lift your child from a prone position high into
the air, making sure to avoid any vomit or spittle. Be sure to lift
with your knees. Repeat several hundred times each day, especially
if your baby doesnt want to go down for a nap. This exercise is
especially good for straining your back.
Running: I find it difficult to motivate myself to run without an
incentive so I developed this exciting variation. Hold your child in
the crook of one arm. With the other arm, open the front door and
let the dog out into the street. Now go get the dog without leaving
the child alone in the house.
Stair stepping: One of my personal favorites. This is what happens
when you get all the down to the car and realize that you forgot the
diaper bag. You cant legally leave a baby alone in a car, so you
have to carry the little one all the way back up those thirty-seven steps,
then down again, only to realize that you forgot a bottle. To
increase the intensity of your workout, use a robust baby car seat,
reinforced with heavy metal. You can also stack up extra toys,
clothes, crackers, blankets, even bricks in the seat to challenge yourself
Hogans Alley: The police use a simulated alley to test their
marksmanship and judgment. You can try your own home version by
putting your child in the middle of the floor and then closing your eyes
or turning your back while you count to ten. When you open your
eyes, youll have just moments to catch your child as he or she drops
from the top shelf of a bookcase or as the entire contents of the dining
room table fall to the floor as he or she pulls on the tablecloth.
Give yourself extra credit if you manage to avoid any cuts or bruises.
As with all workouts, nutrition is the cornerstone to successful results:
keep the child fed at all times. If you have questions about the
safety of any of these exercises, just try asking your doctor what you
should do instead without him or her giving you a smart answer.
Remember, exercising for a few minutes every day is better than exercising
for a long time once a week, but exercising for a long time every day is
better than both.