CAMAS — At Lacamas Park on a gray and rainy afternoon in early March, Dylan Koller, who writes under the pen name Dylan Alexander, practiced “animal flow” with his two oldest kids. The three laughed together while pretending to be a bear, a crab and any other animal that came to mind.
Actively playing with his little ones is one of Alexander’s favorite activities. Not only does he consider it part of being a good dad, it’s one of the ways he focuses on his own physical and mental health.
“We’re lucky. Having kiddos means we are supposed to be active,” Alexander said.
Alexander recently published “How to Lose the Dad Bod: While Improving Mental Health & Bonding with Your Kids,” a concise self-help book available on Amazon for $9.99.
The 100-page book provides advice for dads — or any parents — on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle while balancing the chaos of parenting.
“The main thing is just figure out how you can incorporate family time with healthy goals,” Alexander said.
Tips from Dylan Alexander’s “How to Lose the Dad Bod: While Improving Mental Health & Bonding with your Kids”:
- Get your blood flowing. Exercise does not have to mean an hourlong run. One of Alexander’s favorite ways to stay active is by playing with his kids. That can mean a dance party before bed, a game of tag in the park or practicing yoga together.
- Stay hydrated. Alexander drinks a glass of water or two every time he refills a glass for any of this three kids. He finds that is the best way to ensure plenty of hydration throughout the day.
- Find a good support system. The best way to hold yourself accountable in terms of physical and mental health goals is to practice the buddy system. Whether that is checking in with a friend or a partner, just someone to share your goals and check in with.
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In 2018, Alexander and his wife, Jona Tochet, had their first child, Sonny. At the time, the three were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2020, the family moved to Camas and now Alexander is a stay-at-home dad of three: Sonny, 4; Story, 3; and Bowie, 5 months.
Tochet is a production designer based out of San Francisco who travels a lot for work. While taking care of the kids, Alexander works to prioritize mental and physical health for all of them.
And so “How to Lose the Dad Bod” was born, full of tips and tricks on how to get in shape and bond with your kids in the process.
Although it only took Alexander a few months to actually write the book, the research took 5½ years, his wife joked.
“His research is primarily him being a dad,” Tochet said.
She helped him by proofreading, editing and giving him hours of solitude to write.
As a family, both Alexander and Tochet work to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their routines and teach their children in the process. For them, this means drinking water, eating balanced meals and getting exercise.
In his book, Alexander describes what those values look like in practice. Every time any of his kids gets a cup of water, he downs a glass or two. He gets exercise by playing, dancing and hiking with his kids. He cooks fun meals with his kids and practices his own version of intermittent fasting.
“(The book) explains how to take care of yourself in general while you are busy with a bunch of kids,” Alexander said. “Anyone who reads it, I hope will feel inspired to take that first step to set off the domino.”