We know fatherhood (just like motherhood) has its ups and downs, moments of beauty and ugliness. And it’s a parenting truth that raising tiny humans is stressful – on daddy as well as mummy. We know that stress can take a toll on health. So then, is being a dad bad for health? Surprisingly, it’s not. There are some amazing physical benefits of being a father that might have never crossed your mind, until now.
The Physical Health Benefits of Being a Father
According to Marcus Goldman, M.D., author of The Joy of Fatherhood: The First Twelve Months, “Fatherhood comes with a lot of great health perks. Not only does it inspire men to take better care of themselves physically, but it also fills them with a sense of purpose that genuinely enhances their psychological well-being”
We couldn’t agree more! Daddies, listen up. Here’s how you get healthier and fitter, just by being a dad.
1. Fitter and Stronger
Contrary to popular belief, fathers will be inspired to take better care of themselves than men who are not dads. Whether you’re pushing your baby in a stroller or lifting them high over your head as they squeal with joy, your body is getting a great workout. And the best thing is they’ll be having fun whilst doing it.
But it goes deeper than this. When men become fathers, they feel more motivated to look after their physical health so that they can be there – strong and healthy – for their kids. Kenneth Goldberg, M.D., author of The Men’s Health Longevity Program, explains: “Men realise they need to take care of themselves if they want to be around for their children. Mortality is a great motivator for men.”
2. Better Sexual Health
It’s clear that having sex has amazing benefits for health. Studies have shown that frequent ejaculation can help prevent prostate cancer, can assist in keeping your penis strong, and in general, makes you happy.
But what about after kids, when the commonly accepted understanding is that sex drastically reduces?
Take John, for example. He recently found out his wife is pregnant. He made a remark that he’s having as much sex as he can now because once the baby arrives, he and his wife will have no time to enjoy each other in the bedroom. And he’s worried about losing his touch if he doesn’t get any action for that long.
But listen up, dads. Instead of killing the passion, having a baby will reignite it. According to a study, 94% of mums and dads reported an improved sex life post pregnancy. And husbands also said they preferred their wife’s body after the baby! Focusing on the quality of sex mattered more than the frequency.
3. Reduced Stress Levels
Many fathers confess that one of the biggest benefits of being a father is feeling much more at peace. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, fathers who are more involved in their children’s lives will experience much fewer symptoms of stress in the long term.
Dr Rosalind Barnett, a psychologist whose research focuses on the stress of work life in men, said, “Dads are less likely to have chest pain, insomnia, fatigue, indigestion and dizziness.” And because mental and physical health are intrinsically intertwined, less stress definitely means better physical health.
4. Ditch Bad Habits and Pick Up Better Ones
Because a father is responsible for the physical health of his baby, he takes measures to ensure his little one’s safety. And one of these is to ditch his own bad habits – like smoking – so both his health and that of his baby, are protected.
It’s not just smoking. Dads are also more compelled to ditch other vices, like heavy drinking or even gambling, overall benefiting their physical health greatly.
The benefits of being a father are numerous. Your husband will discover a new structure in his life thanks to the baby. And he’ll discover he’ll feel healthier and stronger than ever! Which in turn makes him happier! Backed by so much research, it’ll be hard for him to prove you wrong!
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