Moms and Dads

The Cool Dads of Fitness: Rio dela Cruz and Will Devaughn

While we all love a good #dadbod, fit dads Rio dela Cruz and Will Devaughn show us that it’s possible to keep fit while navigating the highs and lows of fatherhood.

This story about Rio deal Cruz and Will Devaughn first came out in Modern Parenting’s special Mother’s Day-Father’s Day 2023 Print Edition available on

Here at Modern Parenting, we celebrate dads of all shapes and sizes. Nobody should feel like they have to look a certain way when they become a parent, just as there’s no one way to raise your kids right. That said, keeping healthy isn’t something that ends when you become a father. And for the myriad of active dads with specific fitness goals, figuring out how to keep to them while cramming in work, household duties, childcare, and personal time can be a head-scratcher.

For this issue, we talk to two of the fittest dads we know for some tips and tricks on how they keep their fitness goals despite their hectic schedules, and keeping their families involved.

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Will Devaughn

Will Devaughn

Charging into multiple endeavors can seem nearly impossible the older you get, but that hasn’t stopped Will Devaughn. The model, actor, host, and overall personality seems constantly on the go — whether it’s running the PinoyWish Training Center (his training center for personal support workers and caregivers), taking in other cultures, or hosting exciting shows and events. And in between, Will finds the time to spend quality time with his family, as documented through his social media accounts.

Staying Engaged

How, then, does he keep fit despite his busy schedule? For Will, it starts with the right motivation. It’s his family in particular that keeps him driven. “I feel and know that I’m becoming stronger and better recently because it enhances my relationship with my son,” he shares. “I can bring him on my shoulders and we can reach the top of a mountain together because I’m physically able to do so… he’s three, and I’m hoping to be able to do that until he’s ten.”

Will shares that he is especially fond of wrestling with his son, Magnus Orion, and letting him jump onto him at long distances. When asked about the fitness advice he’d give his son when he’s older, he simply says that he’d like him to pursue something he enjoys. “If you like jumping rope, jump rope; if you like to run, run,” he says.

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Building Habits

To keep it going, he ensures he has “stacked habits” that help him keep away from simply sitting down and staring at his phone and help him concentrate on his goals. “Every morning when I wake up, instead of staring at my phone for 30 minutes, I go to the rooftop, and I take a walk,” Will shares, giving an example of stacking habits.

“Once I started to do that for a few weeks, I automatically wanted to add something to that habit. Conscious na ako, ‘Oh, this is becoming easy,’ let me add, ‘Every time I walk around my rooftop, I’ll do ten pull-ups.’” This practice of stacking habits not only made it easier for Will to be naturally inclined towards improving his fitness, it also helped him put more time and energy towards the things that add to his life instead of investing it in things that wasted away.

To read the full article, download the e-mag from Readly or Press Reader or buy a copy from

Rio dela Cruz

Rio dela Cruz

As the founder of Runrio Inc., Rio dela Cruz is one of the country’s finest when it comes to running. Amid coaching other running teams, organizing runs, having a Youtube channel, and participating in runs himself, Coach Rio—as he is fondly called—is also a family man through and through, dedicating his hard work towards giving his three kids a good life. 

As someone whose work revolves around physical fitness, it’s not hard to see how Coach Rio keeps fit amid his schedule. But much like the rest of the populace, Coach Rio also fell prey to pandemic weight gain due to the restrictions. “Nag-increase yung sugar, cholesterol, and uric acid ko [during the pandemic] because of family history,” he shares. 

A Family-Inspired Affair

Like Will, instead of feeling discouraged, Coach Rio used the experience to inspire him further to care for his health. “From that moment, I realized that if I don’t exercise or be fit, my family will suffer,” he says. For Coach Rio, his kids, Eisner, Qaimish, and Hvitserk, would especially bear the brunt of it, since he wouldn’t be able to play with them. That realization bolstered him to become all-the-more committed to taking care of himself and his health.

The fact that he and his wife Nicole were both athletes made it easier to keep fit—partially because it also encouraged their kids to keep healthy, too. “The moment they see us exercising, they want to join us, because they think it’s a game,” Coach Rio shares. He even notes that his kids have adapted to his exercise schedule, taking it as something that inspires and motivates them. Not that the change is very drastic: when planning his exercise routine, Coach Rio ensures that he maximizes his time with his family, preferring to do so while his kids are still asleep.

A Path Much Needed By His Family

However, despite being a reputable athlete, Coach Rio also does not necessarily find it crucial for his kids to follow in his footsteps. While running is a passion of his, he also acknowledges that he chose the sport out of necessity. So when it comes to keeping healthy and choosing a sport, Coach Rio finds it more important that his kids find something enjoyable. “I’m allowing them to find their happiness in sports because it actually motivates them, especially at this age,” he says. He instead encourages them to participate in multiple sports to build muscle and movement while finding something they enjoy. His kids have tried futsal, running, taekwondo, wall climbing, tennis, and gymnastics—anything that helps them build flexibility, strength, and endurance.

To read the full article, download the e-mag from Readly or Press Reader or buy a copy from

More about dads like Rio and Will?

Get Inspired by Popular Runner and Doting Dad Rio dela Cruz
Win that Split: Paeng Nepomuceno on Being a Dad and Celebrity Athlete
Trian Dela Torre: Local Wrestler, Vlogger, and First-Time Dad

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