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5 Simple Strategies to Battle “Dad Bod”

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. This week, it’s five simple strategies to get our dad bods into shape.        

As people get older, they tend to lose muscle and gain body fat. Studies show that this is largely due to poor food choices and a lack of exercise, rather than some inherent problem with aging.

But there is a special problem for us parents as we age: a decline in testosterone for both men and women, which contributes to both muscle loss and fat gain. In other words, the dad bod is real. For both moms and dads, changes in BMI (body mass index) after childbirth is real and significant. In this study, moms gained 12 extra pounds and dads gained 14 vs same-age non-parents.

Fortunately, we tracked down the experts and found five simple strategies to battle parent bod.

1. The magic pill: exercise

Yeah, we know this is super basic and boring, but the science is overwhelming and straightforward: not only does exercise, in itself, build muscle, but it also boosts testosterone. This study showed that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart pumping fast) significantly increased testosterone in overweight men, while this study showed that resistance exercise (i.e., weight training) in women led to a similar increase in testosterone for women. It looks like it doesn’t matter how you get your exercise, so long as you get the heart pumping and the muscles moving.

2. Olive oil, avocados, and nuts

These foods contain monounsaturated fats, which has been associated with higher testosterone levels. These fats are also a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.  

3. De-stress

Beat stress with Monday Meditation and Wednesday Wind-Down, Chronic stress elevates a hormone called cortisol which lowers testosterone, adds body fat, and makes it harder to gain muscle. Mindfulness and emotional health practices help us face our stress, work through it, and become more grounded and resilient. This all adds up to lower cortisol and a better chance at warding off parent bod. Get updates for mindfulness recordings by following our Flourish topic, or join us live in the events.

4. Get your Zs

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep have been linked to higher cortisol, reduced testosterone in men and women, and higher BMI. Check out our Embody Masterclass to learn more about getting optimal sleep.

5. Above all, don’t get hurt

Peter Attia, MD, a longevity doctor, polymath, and podcast host, says that his #1 rule for physical activity is don’t get hurt. One of the main ways we can avoid getting hurt is to stretch often and engage in activities that require a full range of motion. Another is to maintain excellent bone health through activities that put good stress on the bones like running, walking, and resistance training, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D.

5 Simple Strategies to Battle “Dad Bod”

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5 Simple Strategies to Battle “Dad Bod”

On average, people gain weight and lose muscle as they get older, but it’s worse for dads. Fortunately, there are several simple strategies beyond exercise that can help fathers buck the “dad bod” trend!

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Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. This week, it’s five simple strategies to get our dad bods into shape.        

As people get older, they tend to lose muscle and gain body fat. Studies show that this is largely due to poor food choices and a lack of exercise, rather than some inherent problem with aging.

But there is a special problem for us parents as we age: a decline in testosterone for both men and women, which contributes to both muscle loss and fat gain. In other words, the dad bod is real. For both moms and dads, changes in BMI (body mass index) after childbirth is real and significant. In this study, moms gained 12 extra pounds and dads gained 14 vs same-age non-parents.

Fortunately, we tracked down the experts and found five simple strategies to battle parent bod.

1. The magic pill: exercise

Yeah, we know this is super basic and boring, but the science is overwhelming and straightforward: not only does exercise, in itself, build muscle, but it also boosts testosterone. This study showed that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart pumping fast) significantly increased testosterone in overweight men, while this study showed that resistance exercise (i.e., weight training) in women led to a similar increase in testosterone for women. It looks like it doesn’t matter how you get your exercise, so long as you get the heart pumping and the muscles moving.

2. Olive oil, avocados, and nuts

These foods contain monounsaturated fats, which has been associated with higher testosterone levels. These fats are also a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.  

3. De-stress

Beat stress with Monday Meditation and Wednesday Wind-Down, Chronic stress elevates a hormone called cortisol which lowers testosterone, adds body fat, and makes it harder to gain muscle. Mindfulness and emotional health practices help us face our stress, work through it, and become more grounded and resilient. This all adds up to lower cortisol and a better chance at warding off parent bod. Get updates for mindfulness recordings by following our Flourish topic, or join us live in the events.

4. Get your Zs

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep have been linked to higher cortisol, reduced testosterone in men and women, and higher BMI. Check out our Embody Masterclass to learn more about getting optimal sleep.

5. Above all, don’t get hurt

Peter Attia, MD, a longevity doctor, polymath, and podcast host, says that his #1 rule for physical activity is don’t get hurt. One of the main ways we can avoid getting hurt is to stretch often and engage in activities that require a full range of motion. Another is to maintain excellent bone health through activities that put good stress on the bones like running, walking, and resistance training, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D.

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. This week, it’s five simple strategies to get our dad bods into shape.        

As people get older, they tend to lose muscle and gain body fat. Studies show that this is largely due to poor food choices and a lack of exercise, rather than some inherent problem with aging.

But there is a special problem for us parents as we age: a decline in testosterone for both men and women, which contributes to both muscle loss and fat gain. In other words, the dad bod is real. For both moms and dads, changes in BMI (body mass index) after childbirth is real and significant. In this study, moms gained 12 extra pounds and dads gained 14 vs same-age non-parents.

Fortunately, we tracked down the experts and found five simple strategies to battle parent bod.

1. The magic pill: exercise

Yeah, we know this is super basic and boring, but the science is overwhelming and straightforward: not only does exercise, in itself, build muscle, but it also boosts testosterone. This study showed that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart pumping fast) significantly increased testosterone in overweight men, while this study showed that resistance exercise (i.e., weight training) in women led to a similar increase in testosterone for women. It looks like it doesn’t matter how you get your exercise, so long as you get the heart pumping and the muscles moving.

2. Olive oil, avocados, and nuts

These foods contain monounsaturated fats, which has been associated with higher testosterone levels. These fats are also a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.  

3. De-stress

Beat stress with Monday Meditation and Wednesday Wind-Down, Chronic stress elevates a hormone called cortisol which lowers testosterone, adds body fat, and makes it harder to gain muscle. Mindfulness and emotional health practices help us face our stress, work through it, and become more grounded and resilient. This all adds up to lower cortisol and a better chance at warding off parent bod. Get updates for mindfulness recordings by following our Flourish topic, or join us live in the events.

4. Get your Zs

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep have been linked to higher cortisol, reduced testosterone in men and women, and higher BMI. Check out our Embody Masterclass to learn more about getting optimal sleep.

5. Above all, don’t get hurt

Peter Attia, MD, a longevity doctor, polymath, and podcast host, says that his #1 rule for physical activity is don’t get hurt. One of the main ways we can avoid getting hurt is to stretch often and engage in activities that require a full range of motion. Another is to maintain excellent bone health through activities that put good stress on the bones like running, walking, and resistance training, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D.

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. This week, it’s five simple strategies to get our dad bods into shape.        

As people get older, they tend to lose muscle and gain body fat. Studies show that this is largely due to poor food choices and a lack of exercise, rather than some inherent problem with aging.

But there is a special problem for us parents as we age: a decline in testosterone for both men and women, which contributes to both muscle loss and fat gain. In other words, the dad bod is real. For both moms and dads, changes in BMI (body mass index) after childbirth is real and significant. In this study, moms gained 12 extra pounds and dads gained 14 vs same-age non-parents.

Fortunately, we tracked down the experts and found five simple strategies to battle parent bod.

1. The magic pill: exercise

Yeah, we know this is super basic and boring, but the science is overwhelming and straightforward: not only does exercise, in itself, build muscle, but it also boosts testosterone. This study showed that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart pumping fast) significantly increased testosterone in overweight men, while this study showed that resistance exercise (i.e., weight training) in women led to a similar increase in testosterone for women. It looks like it doesn’t matter how you get your exercise, so long as you get the heart pumping and the muscles moving.

2. Olive oil, avocados, and nuts

These foods contain monounsaturated fats, which has been associated with higher testosterone levels. These fats are also a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.  

3. De-stress

Beat stress with Monday Meditation and Wednesday Wind-Down, Chronic stress elevates a hormone called cortisol which lowers testosterone, adds body fat, and makes it harder to gain muscle. Mindfulness and emotional health practices help us face our stress, work through it, and become more grounded and resilient. This all adds up to lower cortisol and a better chance at warding off parent bod. Get updates for mindfulness recordings by following our Flourish topic, or join us live in the events.

4. Get your Zs

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep have been linked to higher cortisol, reduced testosterone in men and women, and higher BMI. Check out our Embody Masterclass to learn more about getting optimal sleep.

5. Above all, don’t get hurt

Peter Attia, MD, a longevity doctor, polymath, and podcast host, says that his #1 rule for physical activity is don’t get hurt. One of the main ways we can avoid getting hurt is to stretch often and engage in activities that require a full range of motion. Another is to maintain excellent bone health through activities that put good stress on the bones like running, walking, and resistance training, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D.

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