Kimatni_Rawlins_Fit_Fathers_Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The spring season is upon us with the sun shining profusely and energetic men, women and children strengthening their hearts and burning calories incessantly. Not that I despise cold, short days, but it was a long winter on the east coast and the lack of accurate amounts of Vitamin D can be alarming. Thankfully I continue to travel to the Sun Belt states throughout the year for my fresh dosage with the most recent trip landing us in Florida for Spring Break with the family.

Typically, road trips and vacation are when you forego positive, life enhancing habits in favor of quick and easy fixes such as fast food and parking curbside at the pool or beach snacking on processed, enriched foods, carbonated drinks or sugar-induced alcoholic beverages. Hey, I’m not judging, I used to toss back Long Island Iced Teas like they were coconut waters and ate fat pizza slices well into the AM after club hours. Thankfully I have broken that degenerative cycle forever and now live for my health and the health of my wife and two daughters. It’s why I’m so emphatic about helping others. Statistics show that over one third of children in the United States are obese and recent studies suggest that fathers have the most influence over what children eat and what they do. Ultimately, nutritional eating, a conscious focus on overall wellness and regular exercise will keep us all breathing easy, running farther, swimming faster, cycling longer and laughing harder. Don’t you agree?

Samosa_Salad_at_Great_SageTo continue the everlasting theme we prepared our own meals for the beach while relaxing in Ft. Lauderdale for the trip’s duration. Each day the goal was to jumpstart the morning by running along the waters or attending the W Hotel’s Beach Fitness Camp, then sunbath, next find pure organic foods at places like Green Leaf and lastly hit the rooftop pool or the beach for playtime. Ha, most picnic baskets consist of sodas, beer, fries, chicken wings or burgers. Well, at least where I’m from which is Camden, NJ. However, the Jersey Shore is nothing like the Florida Coast aesthetically. Today the girls and I are known for packing broccoli, hummus, no-oil or non-buttered popcorn, water, nuts, seeds and of course berries and bananas. Sounds lame? Yet, we do not care about such perception because stellar blood work, 40-year-old abs that look a day over 21 and the ability to run marathons is our focus, and the focus we influence the rest of the population to put on their priority lists.

It’s important today, and each subsequent day that dads and male role models spearhead this call to action by taking time out to engage in physical fitness and employ healthy food choices. Continue to motivate your family with daily exercise and please replace chips, cookies and soda with fruits, water and handmade juices. Also cook more fresh meals at home and eliminate fast food entirely. My good friend Marcellus Wiley, ESPN TV Analyst and avid Fit Father, knows the formula. “I share love and wisdom that truly strengthens the bond with my daughter.  We challenge each other physically and with life lessons that bring us closer together, while becoming teammates in the process. I recommend every dad partake in the Fit Fathers movement, because it’s more than simply being active, it’s a lifelong relationship,” he stated.

Fit_Fathers_Yep, health, fitness, nutrition and overall wellness are priorities for the extension of life. We must eat whole foods from the earth daily to achieve the balance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients our bodies need. In addition, appropriate nourishment helps us function properly, perform sustainably and effectively fight off the onset of degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and more. Regular exercise is required to maintain muscle mass, strengthen bones, balance blood sugar, stabilize weight, circulate blood and regulate the metabolism. Eat clean, stay active and continuously energize your life is the least you can do.

The_Social_Workout_This is the reason I continue to host Social Workouts across the country and globally such as my second hometown in Jamaica. Next up is our 2nd Annual Fit Fathers Day Celebration on Sunday, June 21st. We hope all of our dads, fathers and male role models will participate with enthusiasm, collectively help impact lives and reshape family habit. The moment has never been better for Fit Fathers Day to manifest. It’s time for men to rise to the occasion and positively lead their loved ones.

Don’t be shy my friends. Eat more kale, eat more mangos, eat more beets, play more basketball, swing more rackets, hike higher to the top and do so alongside your son, daughter, niece, nephew or a younger friend. There is no shame in spending added physical time with your kids and taking an oath to become more active and proactive.

One Love!