Ted is the Communications Director for the Heart Disease and Stroke Program
This Father’s Day, I want to give a shout-out to all the great Dads and Grandpas out there. Not only is this a time for us to show appreciation for our fathers, it’s also a time to think about our health and the ever-growing reasons to stay fit.
But staying fit doesn’t necessarily require vigorous workouts at an expensive gym or using a newfangled exercise machine. Being active as a Dad is actually a lot easier (and more fun) than you may think.
As most Dads know, there are some things we’re naturally good at (and by ‘naturally,’ I mean we have no choice). Taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, replacing light bulbs – just to name a few. But in addition to all of the small tasks we take care of around the house, we also have one very special, important skill.
We’re great play partners.
And being active goes hand-in-hand with being a great play partner. Presently, staying fit for me means trying to keep up with my 3-year-old, who seems to be in a state of perpetual motion.
At home, my daughter loves to play hide-and-sneak, which gets us both up and moving around the house and yard. And who ever thought tag with a 3-year old would be a workout? Even though I’m barely jogging, I’m getting my heart rate up while I chase around my favorite “secret agent.” She also loves to ask me for piggyback rides, or to do the “upside-down game.” Sometimes, I even find myself lifting her in a simulated weightlifting move, to sneak in a little formal exercise. (But, please don’t tell my wife that I “curl” my daughter!)
Here are a few other ways to get moving with your kids, without even noticing:
- Hopscotch or follow the leader
- Red-light, green-light
- Kick a ball back and forth, or play catch
- Ride a bike, swim, or skate.
- Play at a local playground (e.g., pushing your kids on a swing)
- Run, walk, skip, or dance
- Basketball (try lifting them up to bring them closer to the basket) or soccer
All of theses activities cost little or no money, and allow us to spend some quality time with our little guys and girls. And if you’re looking for something a little more “outdoorsy,” the Department of Conservation and Recreation has parks across the state for hiking, camping, and other recreational activities.
With warm weather upon us, there’s every reason to get outside with your child this Father’s Day and reap the many benefits of staying active. See you at the park!
Million Hearts — Working to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke posted on Oct 20
Heart attack and stroke contribute to the 800,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year in the U.S. The burden to families and communities is devastating, and medical costs and lost productivity total nearly $1 billion per day. To address this crisis, the United States Department …Continue Reading Million Hearts — Working to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
Poison Prevention! posted on Oct 14
Children are naturally curious. They are bound to explore and wander around the house as they play and learn. It is important to know that sometimes children can become exposed to dangers in the home without being aware of what they are doing. Each year, …Continue Reading Poison Prevention!
Highlights of the October 8th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Oct 9
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured deliberations on two pending proposed amendments to existing regulations, and a pair of informational presentations for Council members on current Department initiatives and activities. First, Associate Commissioner Suzanne Condon provided an update on public comments received on a series of …Continue Reading Highlights of the October 8th Public Health Council Meeting