Do you want to stay fit and at the same time spend as much time as possible with your offspring? That’s how it’s done
F or most fathers has one day to a few hours. Time that was previously reserved for sport is now invested in the next generation. Then the joys of fatherhood mix with the worry of putting on fat. The father-to-be already gains weight during pregnancy, an average of four kilos. If you haven’t got rid of those extra pounds by now, it’s high time you did. Get active! Your offspring shouldn’t be a hindrance, just take them with you. We’ll tell you how it’s done.
- Walking Walking
is ideal for new fathers. A sling is recommended to take an infant with you. After six weeks you can also use a carrying bag. As soon as your child is securely seated, you can also take them with you in a back carrier (possible up to around the age of three). Well-developed abdominal and back muscles make it easier to carry.
If you like speed, you can plant your child in a stroller. You can use such a baby jogger from the eighth week – provided it is equipped with a fixable baby seat. But for all other models, your child must be able to sit. To avoid vibrations, increase the tire pressure to 1.5 bar and drive on level paths. The best running technique is this: run with the cart slightly offset to the axis, with one hand always on the handle.
- Inline skating
The baby jogger is also good for inline skating – if you observe a few safety precautions. The inertia of the car means you have to use more force when driving. You also need to be able to brake properly and take turns. If you are unsure about wheels, you can learn to skate with a stroller in special courses.
Please note: Baby joggers for skating should always be equipped with a handbrake and suspension line (approx. 1.5 meters). Leaning on the handle relieves the load on the front wheel and eliminates any effect of the front brake.
Bikers must equip their bikes with a child seat or bike trailer. Seats that belong in front of the saddle or over the luggage rack, depending on the model, are the cheaper solution. Another advantage of front seats: They only have a small influence on the center of gravity and the handling of the bike.
The higher level of safety speaks in favor of purchasing a wheel trailer – crash tests have proven this. An unsprung trailer is sufficient for leisure needs. Place a foam pad under the baby seat and lower the tire pressure (1.5 bar). Suspended trailers rarely offer more comfort in the first year of life because the springs do not respond to the child’s low weight. To improve the suspension, you should load the trailer with at least 25 kilograms.
You can use the baby jogger up to the age of five (around 35 kilos). Every three quarters of an hour you should give the child a break of about ten minutes – but of course only if they have not fallen asleep. That happened quickly, because the steady rocking lulls many children to sleep. If you have a sleepyhead like that, a longer distance is no problem.
- Inline skating
You can put a child on roller skates from around the age of four. The joints are still too soft and the body tension is too low for skates. You can try inline skates about a year later. But test beforehand whether your child is really suitable for this: stand the toddler on one leg, nudge it lightly and see whether he keeps his balance.
At this age, a tour can take 30 to 60 minutes. If your offspring feels overwhelmed, they will quickly make themselves felt through corresponding nagging. Driving would not be the solution. Better to push or pull it for a while (this is an additional training effect for you). Prerequisite: Your little passenger has a stable stance (with their feet slightly offset in the direction of travel).
The front seats are only permitted for children up to a weight of 15 kilos, with a seat on the luggage rack the little ones can weigh up to 22 kilos. Bicycle trailers are usually suitable for children up to a maximum of five years. Then a so-called trailer wheel is recommended, a kind of bicycle without a front part that is attached to the saddle post of the parent’s bike. Provided that your little one can already sit firmly in the saddle.
Children shouldn’t go too fast because the energy supply system is not yet fully developed. The release of stress hormones is also greater than in adults. Since the resting heart rate is higher in children and the exercise heart rate rises faster, other guidelines also apply to them. For a medium-intensity endurance run, children should keep a pulse of at least 150 beats per minute. However, this training control is not entirely reliable. You can therefore also use breathing as an indicator: It is ideal if the child can just barely talk to you while walking.
So that no feelings of displeasure arise, make the running training varied. Build in playful elements such as obstacle, orientation or forest runs. A seven-year-old can train with you two to four times a week (around twelve to 30 minutes per training unit). Note, especially in summer, that the heat regulation in children does not work perfectly. You sweat less and therefore overheat much faster.
- Ball sports
At around eight years of age, children develop a social behavior that is a prerequisite for team sports. Ball sports such as foot, volleyball and basketball are particularly suitable, where you can train your coordination. A 90-minute game would be too exhausting for the little ones. Twice 20 minutes is better. Take a step back in the game and adapt to the children’s strengths.
- Inline skating
The best age to learn is between eight and twelve years. Use this time to teach the child basic techniques. The hunger for exercise can be satisfied with inline hockey. A tour can last up to 90 minutes. Now is also the best time to enroll the child in a sports club. You benefit from this too: after just a few hours of training, it can teach you all kinds of new tricks.
Sports with small children
The following applies to all activities: Always look at the thermometer beforehand. Stay at home when it’s freezing. Cold air carries the risk of a respiratory infection. In addition, your child perceives the temperature as colder than it really is due to your movement. Dress your sprout thick enough. And always equip the offspring with a helmet and buckle up properly – whether you take them with you in the baby jogger or on the bike.