A new research has revealed that fathers also battle through their emotions to balance work, family and fitness.
According to the Kansas State University kinesiology researcher stated that as gender roles change and fathers become more active in their children's lives, they experience the same barriers as mothers; family responsibilities, guilt, lack of support, lack of time, scheduling constraints and work.
The transition to parenthood has been associated with declines in physical activity for mothers and fathers; yet programs to encourage physical activity historically have targeted only working moms.
Emily Mailey, assistant professor of kinesiology, said that the guilt parents feel was because they think of exercise as a selfish behavior, so fathers reported guilt related to family and taking time for themselves, whereas mothers reported guilt related to family, taking time for themselves and work.
Although barriers for both parents are similar, working moms reported an additional hurdle. Mothers cited work and scheduling constraints as more of a barrier than fathers. Many active fathers found time to exercise during the workday, but mothers reported fear of being judged by co-workers for leaving to workout and lack of time to freshen up after a workout.
Mailey further mentioned that regardless of their activity levels, parents view their families as the top priority; however, active parents were able to see exercise as something that contributed to the good of the family and that was not at odds with being good parents.
The study is published in BioMed Central Public Health, a peer-reviewed journal.