2017 Fit Fathers Day Celebration: Lead by Example So Your Child Becomes The Example!

Words by Adrian McQueen & Kimatni Rawlins / Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles, Fisher Concepts & On The Trak Photo

Fatherhood was achieved on Father’s Day and will follow suit each day henceforth with a continuous movement where Fit Fathers commune for the benefit of their kids. We share and learn from one another to enhance positive experiences for our families, friends and communities. For the 4th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration (FFD) life enhancement manifested once again in the form of festive and healthful activities.

Naturally, Father’s Day in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area was ignited the “Fit Fathers” way for the 4th year in a row with exercise, laughter, dance, music and fun. We bring dads and father figures together annually to demonstrate the importance of being health conscious and leading by example through positive, nutritional choices. Hype for the event was built from engaging social media campaigns and coverage from Fox 5 DC, News Channel 8, WUSA 9, CBS Radio, Radio One, SiriusXM, Black Enterprise and a host of other elite media outlets. Additionally, with $2,500 in prizes at stake for our fitness challenges, over 500 attendees came to the celebration ready for action which resulted in an eventful day.

                   Fit Fathers Flickr Gallery (228 Photos)

 

2017 Fit Fathers Day Celebration: Lead by Example

The Fit Fathers Foundation believes health, fitness and nutrition can help fathers live longer and challenges dads to eat clean, stay active and continuously energize their lives! Held at Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring, MD, fun-for-all group exercises with trainers Michelangelo Bance, Tiffani Jenkins, Styves Exantus and the Ravens’ Kyle Arrington motivated the crowd. New and enjoyable for this year was the Zumba experience by Z Sweat Dance and Fitness as well as Ray & Roze Zumba. Yoga was also led by 5 Sense Wellness to the melody of PanLara’s steel drums. The kids highly adored the interactive playground while guests were treated to DJ Blinks who kept everything grooving as he spun hit tunes on the 1s and 2s.

Participants enjoyed fitness games, healthy snacks and water from Whole Foods, Kind Snacks Zico, Body Armor, screenings and health information from AAHP and giveaways from Thule, Yokohama, Nike, Bose, Road Runner Sports, Soul Cycle, Live Nation, Modell’s, Strider Bikes, Vibram and Mothers Car Care. The Fit Mom plank contest lasted 18 minutes while the Gym Source winner for Mr. Fit Father walked away with a set of Yokohama tires.

We honored our 500 plus attendees for supporting the cause with a magnetic workout, prizes, giveaways and life-enhancing materials. Guests left the event already asking about the 5th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration in 2018. We greatly appreciate our sponsors and partners who initially recognized the vision and helped bring FFD to fruition. As well, a very special thank you is in order for all patrons and volunteers who attended and participated.

FFD is possible due to the amazing contributions from our partners and sponsors such as Thule, Mazda, Volkswagen, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Whole Foods Market, Nike, Bose, DC Capital Striders, Nissan, The Washington Auto Show, Road Runner Sports, Strider Bikes, Kind Snacks, Soul Cycle, Yokohama Tires and Meatless Monday. The success of Fit Fathers Day sits with supporters of the movement so recognition must go out to the community partners including Modell’s Sporting Goods, Gym Source, Body Armor, Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars, Men’s Health Network, Z Sweat Dance and Fitness, The WellnessPlex, Ray & Roze Zumba, 5 Sense Wellness, WAPA, Kaiser Permanente, Powerful Beyond Measure, PanLara, Zico, Daddy’s Cool, Hip Hop Fathers, African American Health Program, Live Nation, Mocha Moms, Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Police, Higher Level Basketball, Vibram, SWEAT DC, 1 Up Handles, The Streetwize Foundation, Downtown Silver Spring, Visit Montgomery County, Road Crew Clusters, Make Smart Cool, Great Kids Events, Mothers Car Care, Healthy Life and Soul, LLC and The Department of Environmental Protection.

In addition, much love and respect is directed to our auto sponsors for assisting in making this event a success. It was only right that Fit Fathers Day included some Automotive Rhythms flavor in the form of an active lifestyle vehicle showcase including a Deep Blue Pearl 2017 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve edition, Mazda CX-5, 2018 VW Atlas Limited and Toyota Tacoma.

Last year’s FFD was unique as we helped elevate awareness for 13-year old Journey Butler and other families battling pediatric cancer. Journey participated in the previous Fit Fathers Day events with her Double Dutch Team aka Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars. Sadly, Journey passed away and in memoriam Journey’s family started #JourneyToHappiness to assist and encourage people against the lethal opposition of sickle cell trait. The nonprofit Journey to Happiness Movement was founded in order to advocate for sickle cell trait (SCT) carriers and to make the sickle cell community aware of the urgent health concerns associated with being a carrier. SCT is directly associated with Renal Medullary Carcinoma, the cancer that Journey succumbed to. National Ambassadors Jason McCourty and Devin McCourty of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots also focus their attentions on sickle cell disease. “We have seen first hand the devastating effects of sickle cell on family members and we are choosing to use our platform to help families in similar situations,” said Jason. “This is something very personal to us and we’re thrilled to continue working with Embrace Kids Foundation,” added Devin. The Fit Fathers positive message is spreading among the lives of many.

FFD was also hosted by national ambassador Kyle Arrington who is a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens and has earned a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. He is married and has two sons named Kyle Jr. and Kaden. Off the field he’s a family guy who dedicates success to his wife and kids including the addition of a new baby boy.

Fit Fathers spearheaded movements in numerous cities last year outside of the DMV by partnering with health leaders to produce the Father’s Day celebration. This year was no different as events also took place in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

Although Fit Fathers Day is a special occasion to recognize dads during their time of celebration, our mission also encourages moms, kids and families throughout the year. Stay tuned for more Fit Fathers events as we move forward engaging with various communities around the country. Enjoy the photo gallery.

Mr. Fit Father Training Video: 4th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration

Are you one  of the fittest fathers in the Maryland, DC and VA area and ready to be crowned Mr. Fit Father? Well, bring your heart and your family to Fit Fathers Day and show us your bravado. Watch this short training video which breaks down the exercises of the contest execution. Contestants will be timed on the circuit to determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

● Sprint Up and Back

● 25 Push Ups

● Sprint Up and Back

● 20 Sit Ups

● Sprint Up and Back

● 15 Ball Slams (50 lb)

● Sprint Up and Back

● 10 Burpees

● Sprint Up and Back to FINISH!!!

Sponsored by Gym Source, the winner of the Mr. Fit Father competition will receive a brand new set of Yokohama tires amongst other prizes from Nike and Road Runner Sports. Tag a father that you think can be the top finisher and hold the crown of Mr. Fit Father on June 18th at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, MD at 10AM. You know what to expect, so get out there and train and we will see you at the 4th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration! RSVP at www.FitFathersDay.com

Fit Father’s Day Tips: A Focus on Men’s Health

Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., Kimatni Rawlins, and Stephen Neabore, M.D., at the Physicians Committee in D.C.

June is Men’s Health Month so this Father’s Day the Physicians Committee is teaming up with fit fathers Stephen Neabore, M.D., and Kimatni Rawlins to learn about simple dietary modifications that can result in major health gains. Their top tips? Build meals around plant-based foods, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes; stay active by moving for at least 30 minutes most days of the week; and lead by example.

Here’s how they put the latest nutrition science into everyday practice:

Fit Father’s Day Tip No. 1: Schedule a physical. Routine check-ups and exams let you catch problems, like borderline high cholesterol, a few extra pounds, and elevated blood pressure, before they morph into larger issues—like the early stages of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

If you haven’t booked a physical, make an appointment today and talk to your children about hereditary risk factors for disease that run in the family. The good news is DNA isn’t destiny. For example, one-third of all cancers can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Fit Father’s Day Tip No. 2: Eat your greens. Consume at least one leafy green vegetable each day, which helps stabilize blood sugar. For an extra boost, aim for a few cups of raw leafy greens to slash type 2 diabetes risk and to extend cognitive function as your body ages.

If you’re not sure where to start, pick up Swiss chard, arugula, and mesclun, which help to improve oxygen circulation throughout the body more efficiently than any other salad green. Other good picks include celery, collards, green beans, kale, and spinach. By loading up with greens, you’ll have more energy to do the things you love, whether it’s playing a game of pick-up basketball, taking your family on a hike, or helping your kids with their chemistry homework. Asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, and parsley are other green veggies that help the body break down atherosclerotic plaque and support healthy blood flow.

Fit Father’s Day Tip No. 3: Swap seasoning for potato chips. Those nicely packaged snack packs—whether it’s cookies, candy, or chips—look easy to pick up and throw into lunches, but these packaged items often contain surprisingly high amounts of sodium, sugar, and empty calories.

To satisfy cravings for a crunchy treat, you can pair plain popcorn with a few pinches of Himalayan sea salt and Vegit (no oil or butter). Your kids won’t know the difference, but you’ll slash their saturated fat intake in half. Kale chips are delicious, too.

In addition to planning healthful snacks in advance, one of the best things you can do for your family is to set up your kitchen so that the healthiest choice is the easiest choice. Start by preassembling to-go bags of healthful snacks, which can fit into lunches, sports bags, desk drawers, and car consoles. When all else fails, pick up extra apples and bananas—which Dr. Neal Barnard refers to as the ultimate fast food.

Fit Father’s Day Tip No. 4: Like lycopene. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men, falling behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is also the most common. In addition to maintaining a healthy body weight and staying active, you can further slash prostate cancer risk by filling up with fruits and veggies. A plant-based vegan diet reduces prostate cancer risk by 35 percent.

One way to increase intake of these disease-fighting foods is to start by adding lycopene, an antioxidant associated with reduced prostate cancer risk, to your diet. Lycopene is bundled in tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, and guava. To double lycopene’s bioavailability, heat it up. Stewed tomatoes and pasta sauce are great options.

Fit Father’s Day Tip 5: Befriend beans. Plant proteins—think lentils, beans, and peas—are packed with fiber, a nutrient exclusive to plant foods. Fiber escorts toxins and other unwanted compounds from your body. It also sends a signal to your brain that you’re full. Aim for at least 40 grams of fiber a day. The average American consumes just 15 to 16 grams of daily fiber. Especially good sources include bean chili, bean-based dips, salads with beans, and vegetable stir-fry dishes with black beans, bold spices, and BBQ tofu.

Want to learn more? Follow the conversation online at #FitFathersDay, #PlantBasedRx, and #MensHealthMonth.

Cali Roots Kicks Off First Ever Fun Run with Fit Fathers

With all the dancing and moving, it is no secret that festivals can wear down on the body. Thus, the Cali Roots Fun Run inspired festival goers to nurture their bodies but still have great times over the weekend.

It was a beautiful runner’s morning along the coastal trail of Monterey, CA with Fit Fathers and Fleet Feet’s Run Crew to kick off Day 2 of the 2017 California Roots Music and Arts Festival. After meeting at the run shop we ran a refreshing 5 miles to scenic Lover’s Point where life feels timeless. After the energizing run showgoers were treated to organic fruit and steel cut oatmeal to nourish and ready them for the fun-filled day of music ahead. It’s a movement that consists of healthful habits and activities right before all the festival magic begins. Now it’s time to enjoy the explosive sounds of Protoje, Tribal Theory, Yellowman and of course the King of Queens aka Nas!

“We were excited to offer our first ever fun run,” stated Co-Producer Dan Sheehan. “Fit Fathers approached us with the idea with Fleet Feet, so we felt this was a great addition to the Cali Roots vibe and thankful for our attendees and community who participated.”

CONNECT:

Cali Roots Website

Cali Roots Facebook

Cali Roots Twitter

Cali Roots Instagram

 

4th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration RSVP Form

 Thanking our partners for the 2017 “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration!

 

Marathon Presenting Partners

10K Training Partners

5K Community Partners

Fun, Fitness Activities between Fathers and Daughters

Fun for All

As a young father of a vibrant 10-year old daughter that devotes her entire heart into anything she tackles I love presenting activities that we can enjoy together while burning calories, cultivating character and teaching life lessons. Sometimes I am spot on and other times she clearly lets me know when it’s time to move on. This is why it’s important tuning in to your child’s behaviors, needs and desires.

When she is entertained and engaged you can hear the giggles, see the glowing smiles and feel the energy from her movements. On the other hand, if she is not having fun Xamari is constantly reaching for my cellphone, fidgeting or announcing that classic kid line that we all love to hear, “are we leaving now?” So the context of the message is not always what you decide to do together but more so how you do it. From my own 10-year Fit Father experience, quality time spent engaging in fun fitness activities has been the most rewarding. Here are a few of our pursuits when it is just the two of us.

Hike the Ball

It’s just a 2-man huddle so I whisper with aggression, “5 step button hook, pump fake, then run deep to the end zone and the ball will be waiting. You got that?” Xamari looks over my shoulder to see if the defense (her boy cousins) can hear the play call then leans back and shakes her head with confidence. “On 2 … Ready … Break!” We step out and run the play like we practiced it a million times but it was only the 3rd. Sports are a great bonding activity due to the daily learning curves that come along with them. With that said, my kid and I prefer football over any other sport. We practice route running, catching, play calling, defending and throwing. We can play the game with other kids or simply work alone on drills and skills. This is what we love to do and the blessing of an oval ball bringing us closer makes it that much sweeter.

Let’s Go Rock Climbing

“You did it! Now ring the bell and come down slowly,” was me yelling from the ground up to the top of the junior rock wall. I told Xamari it wasn’t hard to do while convincing her that she wasn’t going to fall the first time. After watching a few rock climbing videos we decided to try it out at an establishment for beginners. She was excited when we studied at home but as soon as we stood underneath the wall and looked up she suddenly became apprehensive. Fear wouldn’t be the right word but she definitely was assessing her risk management. Nonetheless, we conquered it after talking and working together. In Maryland there are a multitude of rock climbing facilities with some designed for experts and others that are geared towards kids. Climbing is a life saving skill which is also great for bonding because there is technique involved. So beware Dads, if your child can show you up in climbing then you aren’t using your muscles collaboratively with your brains!

We Love Ice Skating

Do you want to build a genuine connection and really find out how close you and your kids are? If so then please try something unique for the first time together. While growing up in the late 80s and early 90s roller skating and skateboarding were essentials. But for some reason I never made it to the ice rink and it shows to this day. However, Xamari really wanted to hit frozen waters and I had no reason to say no to the new adventure. The ride to the ice rink was different than other activities since we had no clue what it was like inside a real ice rink. She was still gullible at this ripe young age and full of excitement. Learning to skate, recording the moments and keeping her from harms way made for an afternoon of wonderful memories. She would fall, get up, and fall again… then get up again. It hurt a bit but now we trust each other that much more.

Let Them Shine

Last but certainly not least let them shine. Bonding and creating quality time with loved ones sometimes can be over thought. Find out what your kids enjoy and help them get better at it. Whether it’s reading books on the subject matter, watching tutorials or consulting an expert let them build self-confidence. My daughter loves to dance so Zendaya is one of her favorite entertainers. She has read her book and continues to learn about her story from more levels than just TV. Helping her grow her knowledge base on what she desires is key, but the confidence she gains from the independence you showcase welds strong bridges between parent and child.

At the end of the day get up, get out and get moving as a family unit, but ultimately ascertain that everyone has fun!

Experienced by Styves Exantus

 

Men’s Nike LunarEpic Flyknit 2: Run Free

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s been a mild winter in Maryland with the first day of March being no different. Yet, as spring approaches I begin to transition back into full running mode after mountain biking, indoor spinning, and strength training during the colder months. So of course I was anxious to try out Nike’s new LunarEpic Flyknit 2 running shoe for men which I received in grey with the black swoosh along with a fresh, matching outfit. Launched in early February the 8.8-ounce shoe (size 10) currently lists for $160 at various retailers including Road Runner Sports. [Read more…]

Prevent Heart Disease!

Atherosclerosis often starts in childhood, 20 years before a formal diagnosis. Vascular physiologist Michael Skilton, Ph.D., with the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders, suspects it starts in utero, based on the effect parents’ dietary choices have on the development of endothelial function, or development of cells that line the arteries.

Eat smarter people including the increased intake of whole grains, fiber, fruits, veggies, seeds, beans (legumes), nuts, and water. And of course eliminate or reduce foods that destruct like soda, fast foods, enriched foods, alcohol, saturated fats and cholesterol infused foods.

According to the American Society of Nutrition, 97 percent of adults fall short on recommended dietary fiber intake, a nutrient only found in plants, with adults and teens consuming roughly half of the government’s recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.5 Only 13 percent of adults consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, and just 9 percent eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. Our nation’s dietary patterns help illustrate why one-third of adults have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, and why two-thirds struggle with excess weight, three leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that a plant-based dietary intervention is even more effective than today’s leading medications to treat and prevent heart disease, thanks to a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals and a reduced intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. About half of Americans, even those who maintain a healthful weight, still have at least one modifiable risk factor, such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, for chronic disease. Integrating diet and other lifestyle changes—exercise, maintaining a healthful weight, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol consumption—leaves consumers with only desirable side effects and can prevent around 80 percent of all premature heart disease cases.

It’s never too late to start: Studies show heart-attack survivors who adopt a high-fiber diet reduce the risk of a recurrence by about 40 percent, compared to survivors who make no dietary changes.

Full story: http://www.pcrm.org/health/heart/treat-and-prevent-atherosclerosis

Good Morning America’s Top Diets for 2017

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To begin I would like show my gratitude, love and respect to Good Morning America and U.S. News and World Report for featuring Fit Fathers in their 2017 Best Diets segment this morning. The timing couldn’t have been any better as millions of people are heading into the new year attempting to alter their lifestyle with changes that will lead to better health, daily exercise and mindful choices. Of course I was representing the vegan and plant-based world of nutrition and continue to advocate the life enhancing benefits of this natural path for those looking to positively alter their eating habits. So continue to eat clean, stay active and energize your life!

View the video at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/us-news-world-reports-best-diets-44537289

Kimatni D. Rawlins, Nationally Recognized Fitness Expert

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Run Santa Monica!

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Before the anticipated unveil of the new, family oriented 2018 VW Midsize SUV in Southern California tonight I went out to run some errands (literally) around Santa Monica for 5 miles. From dropping off a heavy package 1 mile away at the post office, to picking up my vegan dinner at Veggie Grille, to taking in the excitement of the Santa Monica Pier and Muscle Beach, I had a very energetic and fitness focused afternoon. Work pays the bills but positive health habits extends life. There should never be an excuse for actively enhancing your overall health.