From the beginning of pregnancy to kid wrangling, being a parent is a physical demand on your body. And not just the mum! Many dads get sore from helping their partner in labour, with handling new borns and eventually playing with kids.
The first thing to know, is that it’s very common to get parenting injuries! Not only is it onerous raising kids, but many parents have less time to exercise for themselves. Often sleep-deprivation is an added complication.
It’s not as good an injury story as an heroic trek or sporting achievement, but parenting injuries can also be prevented!
Three tips to meet the parenting physical challenge:
1) take time for yourself: this is as important for your mental health as your physical health! If you’re missing out on sports, walking or workouts, it gets hard to stay on top of everything else life throws at you! So, try to carve out some time for yourself to exercise! Get up early, tag team with your partner, or add in a walk after you’ve dropped the kids somewhere.
2) include the kids: playing physical games with the kids often will keep you fit and healthy, and teach a love of movement! Get involved in the kids’ sports and train with them! Push the pram or use the baby carrier to run errands rather than getting in the car. Kids love to play with you, and it can be fun for you too!
3) get onto injuries in a timely fashion: as with most injuries, the sooner you get on to them, the faster they resolve. It might be that you start with some self-massage or reducing the activity that hurts. This way your pain might settle by itself. If it hangs around, get in to see a physio early so you can get pain relief and a clear direction to recover – as well as preventing further injuries!