Health & fitness tips for getting Dad’s in shape

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This Father’s day, News 8 has your back with tips that all Dad’s should know about living a fit and healthy lifestyle.

We see dads who are overworked, stressed out, and neglect their health. As a result, they can end up with health issues and possibly carrying a great deal of excess weight around their mid-section.

Joining us Sunday on Good Morning Connecticut, Kara Ganssle, the Director of Nutrition from POP Weight Loss and Chaz Koch from Sound Runner in Old Saybrook, to tell us more about how to keep our dad’s healthy.

Ganssle tells News 8 that at POP Weight Loss, she works with Dads all the time and stresses the importance of good health. Ganssle mentions that heart disease is the number 1 killer of men from ages 45-54.  She also adds that one out of three men have high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Ganssle explains that dad’s should be aware of some signs like their waist circumference. If you carry most of your weight in your mid-section, you are putting a great deal of stress on your organs.  This extra weight increases their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.   You can simply measure your waist at home by placing the measuring tape above your hipbones.  Men with a waist larger than 40 inches are at a higher risk for health problem.

Here are five easy ways dads can make a difference:

1.Set a great example.
You may not know it, but your child is watching the foods you choose – and following in your footsteps. A 2011 Journal of the American Dietetic Association study found that kids are likely to mirror their father’s intake of many snack foods. Given that children get about a third of their calories from solid fats and added sugars, teaching them to choose smarter snacks can give them a big nutritional boost. If you want your kids to reach for fruit instead of cookies, show them how it’s done by leading the way.

2.Start in the supermarket.
Food shopping isn’t just mom’s job anymore. Considering that kids eat two-thirds of their meals and snacks at home why not take them to the supermarket to load up on healthy eats. They’ll love the fact that you have a completely different perspective than mom.

3.Get cooking!
Fathers who rank family meals as an important event are less likely to have kids who favor fast food restaurants according to a 2011 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study. But getting those healthy eats on the table isn’t always easy, unless dad steps in too. When both parents take turns cooking in the kitchen the likelihood of a home cooked meal doubles. That’s not the only reason dad should don his chef’s hat. When kids see dad whipping out pots and pans or chopping vegetables in the kitchen they develop a broader, more flexible view of gender roles.

4.Take it outside.
Outdoor activities are the ideal environment for dads to get on board with a healthier lifestyle.  Given that 64 percent of parents and kids play video games or watch TV together at least three days a week, the great outdoors is the ideal place for dads to help step up the whole family’s physical activity. Instead of reaching for the remote, round up the family for a bike ride or recruit them for a game of soccer.

5.Stand united.
To raise a family of healthy eaters both parents have to walk the walk and talk the talk. This means that parents have to follow the same rules and consume the same nutritious foods that they want their kids to eat. “For optimal success both parents should agree on nutritional guidelines and be willing to stick to them.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview.

For more information, you can visit

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