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man tying his shoes

Dad's Guide to Postpartum Fitness: Balancing Baby and Body

Explore practical tips and workout routines that new dads can incorporate into their busy schedules, helping them maintain fitness while embracing their role as caregivers.



7 min read

Becoming a father is a transformative experience that brings immense joy and responsibility. Amidst the joys of parenthood, many new dads find it challenging to maintain their fitness routine in the postpartum phase. Juggling sleepless nights, diaper changes, and πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸΌ baby cuddles can make finding time for exercise seem like a distant dream. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of postpartum fitness for dads. From time-efficient workouts to practical strategies, we'll explore how to balance your newfound fatherhood with a commitment to staying fit and healthy.

The Postpartum Phase: A New Chapter

The postpartum phase is a critical time for both new moms and dads. While mothers recover from childbirth, fathers often navigate their own emotional and physical adjustments. Prioritizing fitness during this period can lead to better overall well-being, increased energy levels, and enhanced confidence as you embrace your new role. Of course, it helps if you were fit to begin with, but it's never a bad time to start. I am 26 now and I have been working out consistently since I was 15. Recently I sustained a wrist injury that prevented me from hitting the gym and the transition with having my baby overnight really threw me off course. Let's start this journey to NO DAD BODS together!

Benefits of Postpartum Fitness for Dads
  1. Physical Well-being πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ: Regular exercise helps maintain or regain muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, aiding in overall physical vitality.

  2. Mental Health 🧠: Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Engaging in physical activity can alleviate stress, anxiety, and postpartum blues.

  3. Energy Enhancement ⚑️: Balancing baby care with fitness can provide an energy boost, counteracting the fatigue that often accompanies new parenthood.

  4. Role Modeling ⭐️: Demonstrating a commitment to health and wellness sets a positive example for your child and promotes healthy habits within the family.


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Finding Time for Fitness
  1. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity: Rather than focusing on long workouts, opt for shorter, high-intensity sessions. Quick workouts can be just as effective and are easier to fit into a busy schedule. Try High Intensity Interval Training! That helped me get really lean and conditioned while only taking up less than 20 mins at a time.

  2. Incorporate Baby into Workouts: Make fitness a bonding experience by incorporating your baby into your routine. Try baby-wearing during a brisk walk or use your little one as resistance during strength exercises. I love putting my baby on my chest like a 30LB weight and take nice walks outside.

  3. Naptime Workouts: Utilize your baby's naptime for a home workout session. Bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, and yoga can be done in the comfort of your living room. Of course, try not to wake her up with excessive noise.

  4. Use Your Off Time: Coordinate with your partner to allocate time for each of you to exercise. This teamwork approach ensures that both parents have opportunities for fitness. Or if you are like me, hit some hard workouts when the coparent has the child.


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Effective Postpartum Workouts
  1. Bodyweight Circuits πŸ’ͺ: Combine bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, planks, and lunges into a circuit routine. Perform each exercise for a set time or repetitions and repeat the circuit 2-3 times. There are also tons of videos on YouTube for that. Chris Heria makes amazing at home workout videos without any equipment.

  2. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ: HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. This efficient workout method can be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes but don't expect it to be easy. You will be huffin and puffin by the end of it.

  3. Yoga and Stretching 🧘: Yoga promotes flexibility, relaxation, and stress relief. Choose routines tailored for beginners and focus on postures that alleviate common discomforts from daily baby care. YouTubers Breathe and Flow make some amazing yoga videos for practitioners of all levels.

  4. Outdoor Activities πŸ₯Ύ: Turn family outings into fitness opportunities. Go for stroller walks, hikes, or bike rides with your baby to enjoy fresh air and physical activity together.

Chris Heria's AB Workout

Besrey Baby Backpack Carrier


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Nutrition and Hydration

Balancing fitness with proper nutrition πŸ—πŸ₯¦ is essential. Incorporate nutrient-dense foods, lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Not only does it help you move better, but it also helps you think and stay awake more.

One hack I found is to utilize Costco. Since I live alone and don't want to have to cook, I would buy Costco rotisserie chickens πŸ“ in bulk and break it down. Breaking down a chicken takes 5 mins. Package it away in a ziplock bag after portioning it out using a food scale. Now you have bags of protein ready to go whenever you want a meal. For carbs, get yourself a rice cooker. I make 3-4 cups of rice 🍚 in 20 mins with a rice cooker. For vegetables πŸ₯’, sometimes I opt for frozen options that you can literally pop in the microwave, other times I do get prepacked bags of salad from Costco and those taste delicious too.

Mindset and Self-Care

Remember that fitness is a journey, not a race. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories. Make it not just a new year resolution but a lifestyle.

If fitness hasn't been a big part of your life in the past, now you have a big reason to change. To tell you guys a personal story, my father passed away when I was only 18. He was a life long smoker and lived a very sedentary lifestyle. He never got to see me graduate college. He never got to meet his grandchild. He never even went on a vacation with me as an adult.

All I'm saying guys, prioritize self-care, adequate sleep, and mental health to be the best version of yourself so you can be the best dad a baby can ask for. Live to your FULLEST potential so you can see your child go to college, get married, and live a fulfilling life!

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Embracing postpartum fitness as a dad is an investment in both your well-being and your family's health. By incorporating practical strategies, time-efficient workouts, and a positive mindset, you can successfully balance your baby's needs with your commitment to staying fit. As you navigate the unique challenges of fatherhood, remember that taking care of your body benefits not only you but also your ability to be the best dad you can be. Prioritize your health, cherish the moments with your baby, and enjoy the journey of postpartum fitness.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is it safe to start postpartum fitness immediately after childbirth?

It's important to consult your healthcare provider before resuming exercise postpartum. Your doctor can guide you on when it's safe to start and what types of activities are appropriate.

2. How can I maintain motivation for postpartum fitness?

Set realistic goals, track your progress, and seek support from other dads or a fitness community. Remind yourself of the physical and mental benefits you'll gain from staying active.

3. Can I combine exercise and baby care?

Yes, many exercises can be adapted to involve your baby. Just ensure their safety and comfort throughout the workout.

4. What if I can't find time for workouts?

Prioritize short, intense workouts, and remember that every bit of activity counts. Even a 10-minute workout can contribute to your overall fitness.

5. How soon can I involve my baby in fitness activities?

As long as your baby has good head and neck control, you can start incorporating them into your workouts. Always ensure their safety and comfort.