PLAYING, COACHING, AND WATCHING BASEBALL IT’S A FAMILY TRADITION
Throughout this past winter and spring, some were concerned we wouldn’t have an MLB season this year because the owners and players struggled to compromise. Thankfully, they made up and we’ve already enjoyed a couple of months of great baseball. The sport has always had a special place in my heart because it has been a great bonding experience for multiple generations of my family. Nearly 40 years ago, I started playing Little League baseball with my dad serving as our team’s coach. I grew up in a small town along the Sacramento river, and we always played teams from the other towns up and down the river. It truly developed into a childhood rivalry for many years. Our grade school consisted of kids from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade, and there were only about 200 kids enrolled. The other schools in our area had similar levels of enrollment. This meant I played with and against the same group of kids from elementary school all the way through high school. I like to think I was a pretty decent player during those years, but most of the time, our team wasn’t worried about wins or stats. We were way more focused on who could get the largest piece of gum in their mouths or simply playing
our role on the diamond. We learned most of our skills by watching the pros play on TV, but back in the day we only had five TV channels, so our options were limited. We watched the Giants or the A’s, so I quickly became a fan of those teams. When it came time to pick team names for all of the teams along the river, you can only imagine how many kids wanted to be the Giants or Athletics. We were one of just two teams that had a couple girls on our Little League team, and oddly enough, I recently had a patient explain that their mom knew who I was. I asked how and they said we had played baseball together years ago. I reached out to her a few days later, and we reminisced about our playing days. She actually sent me a picture from the early ‘80s of our team. We looked exactly like the Bad News Bears, goofball kids wearing trucker-style baseball caps with bad haircuts and oversized uniforms. Whenever I look back on those days, I’m incredibly thankful my dad was my coach. He taught me a lot about the sport and served as a great example of what a coach should be. When my son started to play in Little League, I wanted to coach his team as my dad did for mine, and I did so until he was too old for Little League. I
had given out all of the baseball knowledge I possessed, and I knew my son was ready to be coached by someone other than his dad. Now, my son is playing for a travel baseball team and loving every second of it. We’re spending every minute many weekends entrenched in baseball. Sometimes when they play three games in one day, we’re at the diamond for hours on end. I always look forward to tournaments and games so I can see him play. Little League provides a great opportunity for our kids to build character and discipline. As a player, you’re always looking to improve, and hard work truly does pay off. If you play to the best of your ability and learn from your mistakes, you should be a better player when the season comes to a close. National Little League Week takes place during the second week of June, and it’s a great opportunity to get out and watch a game or play a game of catch with your kids. These moments don’t last forever, so savor them while you can.
6 Gifts Dad Is Sure to Love Dad is a very important person in your life! Every year when Father’s Day rolls around, it can be tough to come up with the perfect gift, whether it be for your dad, a new father, your grandfather, or a father figure. Getting creative can be tricky, but this list is sure to help you with an idea or two for all different price ranges! WALLET Why not go really classic and opt for a thoughtful and practical gift? Most men’s wallets see a lot of wear and tear. After all, they’re sat on, toted around in pockets all day long, and sometimes forgotten about and sent through the wash. A new one just may be in order! MASSAGE GUN Massage guns are rising in popularity. To help Dad recover from soreness and injury or just a tough workout, a massage gun will do the trick! The best part is that they range in price, and you can even purchase one on Amazon! APPLE WATCH STRAP Does the dad you’re celebrating own an Apple Watch? If so, help him customize it with a new Apple Watch strap. You can choose from many materials, colors, and designs so he can blend in or stand out as much as he wants. IT’S DAD’S DAY!
A NEW COOLER Men love their coolers — it’s a foolproof Father’s Day gift! Whether Dad loves to camp, fish, tailgate, go to the beach, or barbecue in the backyard, he’s sure to appreciate a new way to store ice, drinks, food, or bait! TOOL BUCKET ORGANIZER Is your dad a bit of a handyman? Help him get organized and never lose track of his tools again. Tool bucket organizers come in many forms and, again, can be purchased right online, making your shopping easy! BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES OR SPEAKERS If your father doesn’t have Bluetooth headphones or speakers yet, he’s missing out. The opportunity to jam out wirelessly while working out, cutting the grass, doing hobby work, or just relaxing is effortless with this thoughtful gift.
Should I Exercise in the Evening? HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS
MORE ENERGY AND BETTER SLEEP You might think that after a long day of work, you would not have enough energy to get in a decent workout, but you’d be surprised. A study published in Cell Metabolism found that we use less oxygen when we exercise in the evening, which means our bodies are more energy efficient in the later part of the day. Additionally, that workout should tire you out and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. If you still feel energized after exercising, do some deep breathing exercises or yoga to prepare your body for an extended period of rest. FEWER PEOPLE IN THE GYM 24/7 Fitness claims that the busiest time in their gyms is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other fitness facilities have shared similar information based on their own attendance records. This means if you go to the gym in the evening, you’re less likely to be distracted by other patrons or have to wait for a machine.
We hear plenty of discussions online and at the gym regarding the best time to exercise. Some believe you get a better workout in the morning while others say mid-afternoon or evening is better. We’ve previously talked about how exercising in the morning helps jump-start your day and improve your energy levels, but there are also benefits to working out at night. Here are three of the greatest benefits that come from night workouts. INCREASED MUSCLE STRENGTH Many people head to the gym with the goal of improving their muscle strength. Exercising at night can actually make you stronger than if you work out at any other time of day. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, changes in hormone levels and core body temperature make afternoon and early evening workouts the most beneficial for muscle strength. That time of day is when we experience peak muscle performance.
TRY THESE 3 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY
DON’T SKIP MEALS We’ve all been there. You wake up a little late and realize you don’t have enough time for breakfast, or your work schedule is too hectic so you can’t break away for lunch. What could it hurt? It’s just one meal, right? According to studies published in Nutritional Health, people who miss any meal throughout the day report higher feelings of fatigue
We all feel tired at times whether it’s due to lack of sleep, a busy work schedule, or just dealing with the day-to-day chaos in our everyday lives. Nobody likes to feel tired day in and day out, but grabbing an
energy drink or a coffee every day can be hazardous for our health and our wallets. Luckily, we can do a few things each day to help put a little pep in our step. If you’re tired of feeling tired, give some of these ideas a try. GO FOR A WALK We know how this sounds. You’re tired, so why in the world would you want to do something
by the end of the day. Make time for three square meals each day, and you’ll be rewarded with an extra boost of energy.
STAY HYDRATED You don’t have to drink a coffee or an
to exert yourself even more? A study from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia found that a simple walk around the block
energy drink for that added boost of energy. Drinking water and rehydrating yourself can work wonders. Thirst often disguises itself as fatigue, so you may just need a tall glass of water to reinvigorate yourself. If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, it could play a role in your exhaustion. Alcohol dehydrates you and interferes with your sleep schedule, so it can be directly to blame for fatigue.
or climbing a set of stairs can be more energizing than low doses of caffeine. Another experiment done at a California State University found that a 10-minute walk can increase energy levels for up to two hours. Get out and be active if you want more energy!
TAKE A BREAK
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers
Inspired by RecipeRunner.com
INGREDIENTS For the Marinade • 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
For the Skewers • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-size cubes • 1 small pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 3 tbsp honey • Juice of 1 lime • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika • 1/2 tsp salt
DIRECTIONS 1. In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients.
2. In a reusable freezer bag, combine cubed chicken and all but 1/4 cup of the marinade. 3. Seal bag and massage marinade into the chicken. Chill in the fridge overnight. 4. The following day, preheat the grill to 400 F. Thread chicken and pineapple onto skewers, adding two cubes of chicken for each cube of pineapple. 5. Grill the skewers for 3–4 minutes per side, brushing with the reserved marinade in the final minutes. 6. Serve over rice or with your favorite barbecue sides!
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Memories From the Baseball Diamond
Father’s Day Gift Guide
The Benefits of Evening Exercise
Energy Boosting Tips to Leave You Invigorated
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers
3 Dreamy Northeastern Hiking Trails
t h e
Get Your Hiking Boots On!
NO. 3: CAMEL’S HUMP TRAIL, VERMONT As the third highest peak in the state, Camel’s Hump Trail offers unbeatable views
Want to feel like you’ve stepped into a lush dream? You don’t need to travel too far to experience truly stunning outdoor adventures. The U.S. has plenty within our borders! Here are just a few, located in our Northeastern states. NO. 1: WHITE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST, NEW HAMPSHIRE If you want to visit an enchanted forest, look no further than White Mountain National Forest! Whether you want to hike its various mountain ranges to spy some gorgeous views, wind through an endless sea of trees, or spot a plethora of unique local fauna and flora, this beautiful national forest has a trail for everyone. You can even hike the Appalachian Trail to walk a mile in our American ancestors’ shoes. NO. 2: STEPSTONE FALLS (BEN UTTER TRAIL), RHODE ISLAND If you’re in Rhode Island, especially in spring, you won’t want to miss this perfect trail. Follow this walk along a picturesque river and you’ll see fabulous slabs, cascades, woods, and much more. Unlike the popular — and often busy — White Mountain trails, this one is relatively quiet with its narrow foot path. It’s also a gentle walk, being mostly flat with some alternating, gentle ups and downs. It’s a great walk for all ages.
in nearly every direction. It’s easy to reach the trailhead, as it’s just off Camel’s Hump Road with
a small parking area for visitors. It’s very convenient, but make sure to arrive early in warmer months and on weekends — the road is not an option for parking. The trail offers stunning views of Vermont because of the high elevation, but it may be challenging if you’re afraid of heights. The last part of the trail is quite steep, but once you reach the peak, you’ll see an incredible 360-degree view of the surrounding area. On a clear day, you can even see Canada!
If you want to live out your outdoor dreams, these are excellent places to start! Give them a try!
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