Ah, I look back longingly at the days when I was super fit.

“One of the fastest in school” I used to say.

“Captain of the football team” I proudly announced.

“I’ve run a marathon” I sneaked into conversation.

Nowadays, when asked any question about my fitness or ‘do I play sports?’, I recoil “I used to…” Well… we all get by with a little help from our friends. So I’ve been speaking to a team of parents to see how I can hack exercise back into my life. Here are just some of the tips, tricks and tactics you can use to beat the dad bod:

Tired Dad

Morning warm ups

I thought I got up early for work, but I’ve got nothing on these guys. 4:30am is the earliest one of our dads gets up…

“Sadly, I get up at 4:30am in the morning. Write for an hour and then walk two miles with the dog. Clearly need to get out more…” Mark at

“I do 5 HIIT fitness classes a week and always fit them in before work which means getting up at 5:20am! The way I think about it though, is it means at least I’m not getting up JUST TO GO TO WORK, which is a big motivator!” Jon at

“I have my gym clothes ready by my bed every day and get up half an hour before my daughter to do a HIIT workout with the body coach off YouTube. This works most days but if I don’t get up early I come home from work get changed into my workout clothes and do a workout while I wait for my dinner to cook.”

One dad squeezes in some gym time just after he drops his son off at preschool…

“My son goes to preschool 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, so I drop him off then go straight to the gym. I then fit in work and housework during the day through to 9pm.” Kaiden at (The Habitual Blogger)

Noon kick off – squeezing exercise into everyday life

Here are some ways to hack fitness into your busy schedule. Admittedly, most of these are done at home; I’m not sure the boss would be happy with you doing the hula whilst he’s giving the weekly all-hands meeting…

Squats while I’m boiling the kettle, cooking the tea. Walks with the kids…”

“I hula hoop in my front room once the kids are in bed. I couldn’t do a gym class away from the house so I had to find something to do at home. I also detest exercise but love music so it works well.”

“Squats while brushing teeth, butt clenches while sat at desk. Walk everywhere. Time doesn’t invent itself, sadly, so I function on much less sleep these days!” Sam

Hacking exercise with the kids

If having kids hasn’t knackered you out enough already, then why not kill two birds with one stone and exhaust yourself with these exercises…

“The only way I’ve managed to make it work is to exercise WITH the kids – we all go to karate training together a couple of times a week!”

“I power walk to Tesco with the pram each day (5000 steps) at least once!”

“I walk with my children just about everywhere. We walk to and from school everyday. We also walk at the weekends, either in local fields with our dog or have a walk to the park. Swimming is also something that we enjoy doing together. We’ve recently starting gardening again, which is good exercise… It is great exercising together and encouraging my children to keep active.”

“I do HIIT workouts as they only take 15-20 mins a day and my daughter will do them with me if she’s at home! There are plenty on YouTube for different levels too! I also love walking and tend to walk everywhere – comfy trainers, a bottle of water and my camera are my walking essentials!” Alex at

Evening game

Yes, you can do exercise as a single man on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but can you do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke (after putting the kids to bed)? These guys can…

“I put Paw Patrol on, give my kids some biscuits and do a quick HIIT session and just really make those 15 – 20 minutes count!”

“I do mine on my exercise bike and have my own free weights when the kids are in bed. I get to watch my favourite TV shows while exercising.”

…and my own one. Do as many push ups as you can just before your evening shower. You’re about to have the shower anyway, so it’s fine to get hot and sweaty!

Dad F.C. 9 tactics to beat the dad bod

  1. Get up earlier (and have gym clothes ready the night before)
  2. Try HIIT exercises from YouTube
  3. Do squats when brushing my teeth
  4. Walk the school run
  5. Squats and butt clenches at work?! Perhaps not.
  6. Walk the school pick up
  7. Hula with the kids
  8. Free weights whilst watching Netflix
  9. Push ups before shower

Any tips of your own?

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