Fitness tips for fathers

Training and relaxation in everyday family life without much effort

Overcoming your inner bastard

Since becoming a father, do you lack the time for sporting activities? You can change that! We've put together some tips on how you can incorporate effective training and relaxation sessions into your daily routine and get a powerful energy boost with little effort.


The importance of exercise, sport and relaxation for body, mind and soul is well known - however, implementing them in everyday life is often easier said than done. After all, the inner bastard has many an excuse at the ready: too much effort, too little time, not feeling like it after a busy day. Do you recognize yourself?

Of course you know that exercise would do you good, and you certainly have good intentions. Perhaps you're just lacking a little impetus. Because as a first step, it often only takes a few changes to your daily routine to get your fitness and health on track. Why not use the natural momentum from your active everyday life as a father for a noticeable increase in vitality and quality of life!

Regularly helps a lot!

Health research shows that just half an hour of regular exercise five days a week has positive effects. Use exercise sessions at work or at home consistently for your health by doing them with a little more strength or a little faster than usual. All in all, this already leads to an increased energy turnover, which can be beneficial to your health.

The following exercises and "movement snacks" will help you keep fit almost incidentally.

In the morning

In the morning

Start the day with a short bedtime workout after the alarm clock rings:

  • Exercise "Back swing": Pull your knees to your chest, hug your legs and rock from the right to the left side of your body in this position, then back and forth for as long as you like.
  • Exercise "hip stretch": Lying on your back, pull your right knee towards your chest, hold it with your hands and press it against your body. Meanwhile, stretch out your left leg. Hold the position for around 30 seconds, then repeat with the left leg.
  • Teeth brushing in an alternating one-foot stance: this is a fun way to train your balance and leg muscles.
  • When shaving: tense your thighs and bottom several times in succession and then release them again - strengthens and tones the muscles. This exercise can also be done sitting down.

On the way to daycare, school or work

On the way to nursery, school or work
  • On the bus and train: standing instead of sitting! Actively balance your movements during the journey by tensing your muscles.
  • Walking on foot: Get off the bus one stop earlier from time to time or deliberately park your car 1 km away and walk the rest of the way quickly. The extra oxygen wakes you up and promotes a good mood.
  • Bike more often: cycling trains your heart, circulation and endurance.

At the workplace

At work
  • Instead of calling your colleague, simply get up and visit them in person. This activates the cardiovascular system, relaxes the muscles and also strengthens social interaction (another important health factor!)
  • Take phone calls and deal with mail while standing up.
  • Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • Take a brisk walk around the office during your lunch break - this makes room for fresh thoughts. Short version: stand by the open window and take ten deep breaths.
  • Getting a glass of water every hour pays double - into your exercise and fluid account.

At home and in your free time

At home and in leisure time
  • Rolling around with your child: romping, racing, playing tag, arm wrestling, jumping rope, inline skating, playing hopscotch, kicking and, and, and: whatever is fun for everyone! Because: Laughing also keeps you healthy. Stamina, motor skills and balance also benefit.
  • Gardening: pruning hedges, sweeping leaves, planting balconies - working in the fresh air is a cure-all for body and mind: The scents and colors of the plants stimulate the senses, and when the sun shines, the UV rays also release happiness hormones. Working out in the fresh air also strengthens the muscles and cardiovascular system and prevents osteoporosis.
  • Housework: Dusting with stretching, hanging up laundry and cleaning windows with squats, shopping trips by bike or on foot instead of online shopping - household chores activate the cardiovascular system and metabolism.
  • Web workout: Use online offers instead of going to the gym to get active with sports videos in between. From strength training and motor skills exercises to yoga flow, you are sure to find something to suit your taste.
  • Skill up: play with a console that is operated by your body and burn plenty of calories, e.g. by bowling or playing table tennis.

Success tips for better "perseverance"

  • Not too much at once
    Start with two or three ideas and make them part of your routine. Then you can gradually add more tricks.
  • Promote a personal motto week
    Devote extra attention to a specific topic for a week and focus on an area that is particularly important to you or seems more difficult to implement.
  • Activate environment
    Involve your children, family and colleagues in your exercise program and tell as many others as possible about it. This makes it more fun, increases the "external pressure" and creates many memorable moments.
  • Set alarm
    Your cell phone, watch or PC will send you a signal or an appointment reminder when an exercise is due.
  • Adhesive mail
    Attach stickers or small notes with motivational messages to popular training locations, such as the bathroom or the TV, to remind you again and again.
  • Patronage time
    There may be a reward for milestones, e.g. after four motto weeks or a particularly active day.

No matter how old or how fit you are: It's never too late to make your everyday life more active. Make exercise part of your routine again and experience how good it is for you. Once you have taken this step, you are guaranteed to find it easier to turn your attention to other health-promoting topics. Perhaps you'll focus next on your diet, dealing with stress or your medical check-up program? Our article may motivate you to stay on the ball.

Where can we find help and advice?

Whether running, swimming or soccer: you can find sports and club offers in your area via the exercise map of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

Stay in shape: Fathers who want to get active together with their family will find extensive information material on the topics of nutrition and exercise at the IN FORM initiative of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Health. IN FORM pursues the goal of sustainably improving nutrition and exercise behavior in Germany.

To promote men's health and increase life expectancy, you can find information and suggestions on the men's health portal of the BZgA. If you want to stay up to date, the BZgA's Newsletter is the right thing for you. It provides regular information on the latest news, new projects and publications.

The German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention (DGSP) has drawn up the 10 golden rules for healthy exercise

Facts and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle can also be found in the article "Focus on men's health" here on the Familienportal.NRW.

If you want to do more for your health, the men's health foundation's knowledge series offers information on a total of 26 topics ranging from high blood pressure and sleep disorders to testosterone deficiency in its advice booklets.

Tips and tricks Download

Recommendations for starting physical training can be found in the publication "Exercise and sport: starting yes but how?" also from the DGSP: