Blogging NYT: (Not) Exercising with Children

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Do you still exercise as much as you did before you became a parent? Unfortunately, many of us do not. The New York Times recently ran the story, "All Child-Play and No Workouts Make Dad an Unfit Boy" which examines how parents who were once-fit and at the top of their exercise game are now on the verge of becoming an overweight and unhealthy group.

The University of Pittsburgh recently conducted a study which shows that being a parent reduces physical activity greatly. Over 500 participants were followed for two years and it was found that couples who became parents and had infants and toddlers (dads, in particular) lost over three hours of physical activity, compared to half-an-hour of those without children.

Well, as a parent that's no surprise to us. Before our son was born, we were at the gym three times a week, now we can’t even remember the last time we picked up a dumbbell. So, what to do?

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Dr. Harvey Simon, of Harvard Medical School, states heart-healthy exercise doesn't necessarily mean 45 minutes on a treadmill or bike. Gardening, car washing, stair climbing -- or even just taking the baby for walk can be beneficial.

What do you think? Are you exercising less? Is this study an unfair examination pushing parents to be Super Parents ("Exercise, family, work -- we can do it all!") or is it a wake-up call reminding us to think of our health and well-being more often?

Top photo by Patrick Barry Bar; bottom photo by Mapgoblin.

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