Would You KINDly Exercise with Me?

I partnered with Life of Dad and KIND for this promotion, but all the opinions are mine.

I’ve been an exercise addict for as long as I can remember. I played little league baseball, then lettered in baseball and swimming in high school. Later, I competed in martial arts, worked out at the gym, and ran, and I still play in the “old Jewish guy” adult softball league, and do some rather brutal at-home workouts like “Insanity.”

Over the years, I’ve tried to pass on my love of sports to my daughters but haven’t been entirely successful. It took me a while to figure out that perhaps seeing me completely drenched in sweat or watching me heal from martial-arts inflicted bumps, bruises, cuts, broken bones, ACL tears, and reconstructive surgery didn’t convey the message that being athletic is fun.

But I never gave up. My oldest two, now living on their own in New York have discovered the joys of spin classes and yoga, and the youngest has played softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and is a competitive swimmer. Sometimes we’ve worked out together, but most of the time not (the exception being walking and biking).

So when I heard about the #KINDMilesMatter challenge, I jumped at the chance to participate. The challenge gave us the perfect excuse to do physical things together, plus we’d be helping out a favorite local charity (KIND Snacks will donate a bunch of its healthy, delicious bars and other snacks to the Alameda County Food Bank).
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#Men’sHealthMonday: Belly Fat is Bad, Bad News

tamh - fat man - free to use commercially via bing images

tamh - fat man - free to use commercially via bing imagesCall it what you will: beer belly, love handles, gut, spare tire, or anything else. Whatever the words, they’re all referring to the same thing: belly fat, which is one of the most common types of fat for men. As you’ve no doubt noticed, as we gain weight, our thighs, legs, and arms usually don’t change much. Instead, our fat tends to accumulate around the chest, neck, and stomach. Women, on the other hand, tend to store their fat a little lower, around the butt and thighs. Fat, no matter where it’s stored, is a pretty clear indicator that you’re out of shape, and it can negatively affect your self-esteem. But that’s just the beginning. Unlike fat in other areas, having belly fat increases your risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, some of which are perfectly capable of killing you.

Is All Belly Fat the Same?
In short, No. Belly fat comes in two very different varieties. First, there’s subcutaneous (which literally means “under the skin”) belly fat, which is found, well, just under the skin. Subcutaneous fat around your belly is no different than subcutaneous fat anywhere else on your body, whether it’s your butt, your arms, your legs, or your toes. It’s the fat that you can pinch between your fingers. Aside from being unsightly and a clear indication that you need to lose weight, subcutaneous fat isn’t particularly dangerous.
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Essential Cancer Prevention Tips for Men

Cancer. Just the name sparks fear in the hearts of men all around the world. Whether you’re talking about lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, or any of the other numerous forms, cancer is frightening and too often deadly. However, it doesn’t have to get you. While genetic predisposition certainly plays a role in whether you develop cancer or not, there are numerous things that you can do to prevent it.

  1. Stop Using Tobacco

If there is one absolutely must-do step you can take to prevent cancer, it’s kicking tobacco out of your life. Tobacco in any form (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco) is a cancer causing substance. Lung, throat, and mouth cancer are just for starters. If you can’t quit smoking, consider switching to an electronic cigarette or other smoking substitute (although be aware: e-cigs have plenty of health risks too). It’s not the nicotine that will kill you. It’s the tobacco.

  1. Take Steps to Prevent Cancer-Contributing Infections

CANCERCancer doesn’t come only from radiation and smoking. In fact, a number of infections can actually contribute to the likelihood that you’ll develop cancer. HIV, hepatitis, and HPV are just three of the viruses that may increase your chances of also developing cancer.

  1. Watch What You Eat

What you eat is important for energy, health, and weight considerations, but it’s also important for cancer prevention. A number of foods can make you more susceptible to cancer, including grilled meats, red meat, and salty foods. By extension, anything that adds pounds to your frame could also be considered a cancer encourager, since being obese also increases your cancer risk.  If you’re overweight or obese, take steps to shed those pounds now.

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Leading by Example: Fun Ways to Get Kids to Ditch the Electronics for Exercise

By Jereme Thomas

Kids these days. They spend way too much time indoors playing on their Xboxes, Nintendos, and iPads. How do you get them outside to rediscover the joys of kiddom? You have to make the experience exciting and relevant for the child. Here’s how.

Giving children a place to play is one of the most important things you can do to encourage them to move their activity outside (or get more movement in their day). Companies, like Totally Swing Sets, create an “instant park” in your back yard, eliminating excuses children often have for not going outside (“there’s nothing to do”).

If you live in a cramped area or don’t have much yard space, even a smaller swing set can help. Alternatively, take your child to the park.
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Using Sports To Build Health And Character

Intolerance. Obesity. Bullying. The media is full of reminders about the negative things that affect young people today. And there’s a lot of truth there. There’s also a lot of truth behind the idea that participating in sports can help mitigate some of those negative traits. Unfortunately, too many obsessive sports parents are focusing on the material and self-serving aspects of sports instead of on the positive ones.

So let’s do the numbers: A boy who plays high school baseball has a 1 in 4,000 chance of ever playing in the big leagues. Given typical rosters of 20 or so, it would take some two hundred high school baseball teams to produce a single major leaguer.
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Raising Healthy and Fit Kids without Diets

Patricia Riba, co-author of Fit Kids Revolution.
Raising healthy and fit children without diets.
Issues: What’s wrong with diets; the real reasons kids are overweight; the psychology of feeding children; protecting your child from a toxic world; how to foster an active lifestyle; feeling safe in an unsafe world.