The pandemic has left many people searching for motivation to exercise after being house-bound for too long. Jaron Davis is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer based in Millersville, Maryland. He opened his new gym location in 2021 after training clients in a home gym several years prior. The owner of Imperfect Fitness provided practical tips for readers to get back in the workout groove without heading to the gym.

Jaron Davis played basketball at Northeastern Junior College before breaking his knee cap just before his sophomore season. After Davis fractured his patella in 2009, he attended Missouri Southern State University to play football, then decided to accept a music scholarship. Davis returned to pre-injury shape and became passionate about helping others to improve their fitness levels as a certified personal trainer.
Photo credit: Ron Charles

Q: Can you give me three tips for men to prevent a “Dad Bod,” or a father carrying a bit of extra weight, during the pandemic?

A: A “Dad Bod” doesn’t just show up out of nowhere. This type of physique is developed from pairing a sedentary lifestyle with bad nutrition. A simple method to help avoid “Dad Bod” is to:

•     weight train, progressively increasing weight over time, two to three days per week with an additional day solely for cardio

•     eliminate “junk foods” such as candies and cookies from the middle aisles of the grocery store

•     minimize alcohol consumption Replace the junk foods with whole foods that pack nutritional value such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, salmon, and eggs. Commit to exercise, and practice patience for at least six months, and “dadbod” will not exist.

Q: Can you tell me three tips for women to ease back into a workout routine?

A: The best way to ease back into exercise is to:

•     I often see many people get discouraged when starting too fast after a hiatus from working out. Biting off more than you can chew only leads to quitting or injury. Starting small allows you to file away small wins that you can build upon for years to come.

• When first returning to exercise, it can be hard to stay inspired. Fortunately, in today’s culture there are many subgenres within the genre of fitness. Whether cycling, CrossFit, dance, Pilates, or even powerlifting, commit to a style of training that you enjoy so much that it doesn’t feel like a task.

•     Create small goals for yourself that have nothing to do with the outer appearance. After a couple of weeks, or even days, the fit lifestyle won’t seem worth it. You will lose motivation and believe that you haven’t progressed. This is where I believe staring at the scale or in the mirror can discourage women early on. Set internal goals for yourself such as “I want to squat ______ pounds within 12 weeks,” or “I want to get my resting heart rate to _______ beats per minute.” You will find that after a few months of focusing on these types of goals, a major physical transformation has also occurred as a byproduct.

Q: What are three simple ways to get kids moving with their parents without going to a gym?

A: When the weather turns for the better in the summer months, being creative can have kids moving and having fun (for free).

•     Rotate different parks to avoid the mundane. Kids can have access to multiple activities based on the different playground apparatuses such as monkey bars and slides. Utilize trails and hills, too.

•     While at the park, play classic family games such as kickball or have water gun fights.

•     Take a trip to the beach. Going for a swim and playing beach volleyball will keep the entire family moving.

Q:  Are shorter or longer workouts effective?

A: There are many variables that determine a workout being better or worse. Extremely long workouts can be more damaging to the body’s ability to recover and cause excess cortisol (“stress hormone”) production. A workout that is too short could potentially just be a waste of time as the body may not even get a chance to recognize what you’re doing as working out. Therefore, having a goal when working out is important. Your goal will determine the duration. Wanting to burn fat? A short workout from 10 to 15 minutes pushing your body’s overall limit may be better than a two-hour walk.

Q:  Who should consult with a doctor before working out? What are good questions to ask your doctor?

A: Any sedentary person should consider getting a physical or doctor’s clearance to workout. This includes beginners as well as people who have been out of the game for a while. If you have any pre-existing diseases or injuries, or are returning from birthing children, I also recommend getting a doctor’s blessing before returning to physical activities.

Visit to learn more about Davis and his services.

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