TED READER: Father’s Day grilling & fitness tips!
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend. We’re also in the midst of Canadian Men’s Health Week. And, according to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation – guys may think they’re a healthy bunch, but new Canadian research shows otherwise. Recent stats show that 72% of men regularly indulge in two or more unhealthy habits, including a poor diet, smoking, drinking, not exercising or not getting regular sleep.
For Father’s Day this year, why not give the gift of good health – starting with fitness. It’s never too late to start getting active, says Ontario-based online fitness and nutrition coach Nico Alfieri, owner of Fit U Today (fitutoday.com). Alfieri says “many people get anxious at the thought of getting into shape – yet we are a collection of habits. Fitness can be easily incorporated as one of those habits.”
One place where fitness – and healthy eating – can start is in the great outdoors. We all know that, with Father’s Day coming up, many a dad will be found in the backyard, happily manning a grill and…not doing much else.
Yet, “there’s so much activity that can take place while your waiting for your meal to cook,” says Alfieri, noting you can incorporate everything from “a tool box to a case of beer, even the edge of your grill,” to get in a good workout while you wait for the meal to cook.
If anyone knows about outdoor grilling and barbecuing it’s Canada’s famed griller, award-winning Chef Ted Reader (Tedreader.com) With dozens of cookbooks under his belt – not to mention close to 100 barbecues in his backyard – Reader, also a culinary instructor as well as a food product developer, is the definitive go-to when it comes to outdoor cooking.
He’s the first to admit that, throughout the years, he’s made drastic changes in his own life – a few health scares several years ago saw him switch up from an almost all-meat diet to plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes he creates on the grill, as well as a 70-lb., weight loss.
“I made life choices because I want to be around for my kids for a long time,” said the affable chef, who was working a dozen of his grills and barbecues the day of our visit.
Did Reader want to take it a step further? With the help of trainer Alfieri, the answer was yes!
“You can incorporate a great workout while waiting for your food to cook – and, when doing it in the great outdoors, you’ll feel even better,” notes Alfieri, who utilized a variety of outdoor items to help put Reader through his paces.
“Fitness is not complicated, and nor it should be, adds Alfieri, who has been a fitness expert for over 20 years. “We all lead busy lives, and the idea of changing up your routine can be daunting….but it’s not complicated, and you don’t have to get stressed with setting yourself up with impossible goals.”
Alfieri helped Reader with the following:
BODY SQUATS:This is a lower body strengthening exercise that can be performed anywhere with limited space. You can use bags of ice or coal, or even a cooler, to squat, 10 squats in repetitions of 3 (30 squats in total, building up)
DEAD LIFT:This is a weight training exercise that uses a barbell or bar that is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips, then lowered to the ground. You can use a propane tank, or even a case of beer to help.
PUSH-UPS:You don’t have to be on the ground for these push-ups, rather, with your legs equal distance apart, shoulders straight and arms same distance, push up from your grill, keeping your spine straight, ten times with repetitions of 3 (30 push-ups in total, building up)
IN-LINE LUNGE:Gives a movement that you are “lunging” to the ground on one knee and then moving back up again. Back straight, arms crossed behind your neck, lunge forward and back, repetitions of 10 times 3.
BENT OVER ROWS:Normally you’d use a barbell with his exercise that sees your torso bend slightly at the waist while keeping your back straight until almost parallel to the floor, but a tool box works just as well. Again repetitions of 10, being careful to keep your back straight.
“Lifestyle changes can be measured in baby steps – but they are steps just the same,” says Alfieri. “The idea is to keep your body moving, even while you wait for your food to cook,” he says, adding if you start now by the end of the summer “you’re going to look and feel amazing.”
As for food, Reader suggests getting creative with foods you would not necessarily cook on a grill, “like sweet potatoes. Not only are they tasty, but they’re full of great nutrients – add some caramalized onions and grill portobello mushrooms, with a spritz of chili-inflused maple syrup to the finished dish and you’re in for a delicious dish.”
- @tedgrillsoriginal #itbetasty #chefslife
Health-wise, picture is not too rosy for the men in our lives, fathers or otherwise. According to the Canadian men’s Health Foundation, Canadian guys aren’t that healthy – not because of genetics but more lifestyle. Stats show the following regarding Canadian men:
- 57% more likely to die from diabetes
- 79% more likely to die from heart disease
- 29% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and 40% more
- likely to die as a result
- 54% more likely to die from kidney disorders
- More than twice as likely to die from liver disease
- 3 times more likely to commit suicide
- 67% are overweight or obese.
– Check out CanadianMensHealthWeek.ca