Whether you’re celebrating your father, your dad, your brother or your son, you can help him live longer, feel better and increase his self-esteem by giving him the gift of fitness with these no sweat workout tips from the pros.
THE ROLE MODEL
THE SITUATION: He’s put on a few pounds and wants to firm up – but more as an example for your kids, who are also looking a little heavy. How can you get all of them working out without making it feel like a chore?
THE SOLUTION: Make Exercise Fun
“I tell parents all the time that they lead by example,” says Jake Steinfeld, founder of ExerciseTV and chair of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. “If he’s watching four hours of TV, they’ll watch four hours of TV. If he’s eating the crummy stuff, they’ll do the same.” They’ll follow their parents lead. If he starts working out, they will too – and it’s not just the muscles that will grow stronger. “When you can all get out and take a walk, you all start talking about how everyone’s day is – there are so many ways to get in shape together that don’t cost anything, but add value to the family.”
Dad doesn’t have to lead the way all the time. Following your children’s example – goofing around with them on the jungle gym, joining them in a game of freeze tag – can help burn calories as well. “I’ve had clients say, ‘I know your workout is great, but I played with the kids for 45 minutes and I’m sorer than I’ve ever been,'” says ExerciseTV trainer, Steve Maresca.
THE COUCH POTATO
THE SITUATION: Between Netflix, the huge flat screen, and all the new HD programming, you want him to get fit – but you can’t get him off the couch! You can’t expect him to go from a channel-surfing lump to a big-wave surfing stud overnight, but there are small changes you can encourage him to make to stay in shape (aside from cutting down on the snacks).
THE SOLUTION: The 90-second Workout
“You’re not going to get people not to watch TV,” says Steinfeld. “There’s too much good stuff on.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t get them to burn calories. “During a commercial break, everyone gets down to do a pushup or a sit up,” he says. Holding a lunge or a squat for a 30 second commercial will leave him feeling the burn when his favorite show returns; switching up his body and keeping him from getting bored.
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