Just because sporting events can bring out our worst eating habits doesn’t mean you have to blow your diet while cheering on your favorite team. Leave the planning to us with this full spread of healthier-for-you dishes themed by region of the Final Four teams. And just in case you don’t know who this year’s top four are, the Kansas Jayhawks are facing off with the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Louisville Cardinals are going head-to-head with the Kentucky Wildcats. Let the (healthy) games begin!
Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin believes in old-fashioned hard work on the court, but he’s less traditional in his personal fitness regime. He doesn’t do any straightforward cardio in the gym, like running or working out on the elliptical, but he does get in that kind of workout doing drills with a basketball. “If I’m going to get myself tired, I want to make sure it’s functional and makes sense with a basketball,” he says.
Most of Lin’s workout is geared towards strengthening muscles that will benefit him on the court. He reportedly works out with Phil Wagner of Sparta Science and E.J. Costello. Lin follows a weight training program that builds endurance without adding bulk. “It’s all based on increasing my lateral speed, my agility, and my vertical,” says Lin. His strength training includes Olympic lifts, sideboards, lunges, squats, dead lifts and hang cleans. Once per week he does a dumbbell press with 20 to 40 reps per set, and then once per week he’ll do a heavier weight lifting set with fewer reps.
Lin also does yoga, which he says helps him stay flexible and prevent injuries. He also says he enjoys playing football in his free time, although he doesn’t consider that a real workout.
“Lose weight like a man,” says Charles Barkley, the newest spokesperson for Weight Watchers. The former NBA superstar, who has been nicknamed “Round Mound of Rebound,” has gotten tired of his weight and pledged to drop it, once and for all. At his highest weight, the 48-year-old retired basketball star weighed more than 350 pounds.
Famous for a 1993 Nike ad in which he says “I am not a role model. I’m not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models,” Barkley has changed his tune.
In the Weight Watchers ads, slated to run most often during sporting events, Barkley says “I am still not a role model. But maybe I can change that. Maybe if I tell you I’m losing weight and getting healthy, you’d see that you can too.” Nowhere in the advertisements does he mention black men specifically, but the message of “health first” is one that is very often overlooked by men, especially men of color. They are often underrepresented in the weight loss field, often to the gross extremes of encouraging heaviness with the popularity of such men as “The Notorious B.I.G.”, and the recent passing of comedian Patrice O’Neal.
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The 4th of July is quickly approaching and along with lighting firecrackers and watching fireworks shows, many of us tend to eat a lot of high-calorie foods such as hamburgers and potato salad on this summer holiday. If you want to burn off these extra calories while still celebrating the holiday, try these red, white, and blue activities everyone will enjoy.
Red: For your red exercises, it’s time to regress to your childhood days. Find a red ball like the one you used to play with when you were younger. It could be a basketball, a tether ball, or even a baseball (the stitches are red) and then enlist a friend or family member to join you in the fun. Throw the ball back and forth, roll it down a hill and chase it, or just play a traditional game. Either way, using a red ball is a great way to get in some cardiovascular exercise this Fourth of July.