Baseball, hot dogs, fitness? Can baby boomers have it all?

Baseball, hot dogs, and fitness? They don’t seem to go together, not for baby boomers or anyone else. But when our friend and fitness guru Bob Merz from Houston tells us how to have it all… it seems to make sense.

The 2014 baseball season has just kicked off, and at the seventh inning stretch, everyone sings, “… Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks…”

baseball_and_fitness_lgAlthough for younger generations, the offerings at baseball parks have expanded into the realm of the gourmet, peanuts are a food staple of baby boomer baseball fans, and they are actually really good for you … in moderation, of course, like everything else.

But what about having a hotdog, another of our baseball staples? And what about having that hot dog with a beer, or even two? Even if you’re on a weight loss diet? Can we still have our hotdogs and beers and still be 50plusPlusFit? As my friends in South Dakota would say “You Betcha!”

It seems most boomers are sports fans, whether it’s baseball, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, or whatever, and we all believe that we absolutely do not have to give up any of the traditional foods and drink that seem part of enjoying these sporting events.

Fitness expert Bob Merz

Fitness expert Bob Merz

Why do we believe that? Well, because these things are part of our lifestyle. Remember when you ask “Why 50plusPlusFit?”, the answer is centered on a belief in and practice of fitness for your quality of lifestyle! We’re expecting more than just a better quality of life. After all, what’s life without our own personal lifestyle, right? And in this case, if having a hotdog (or two) and a cold beer (or two) while you attend or watch a baseball game is part of your lifestyle, go for it!

You’ll even find all kinds of hot dog options in our Online Personal Trainer, from the low-fat turkey type to the tastier knockwurst and brat types. But do remember one thing. You have to make up for those indulgences to stay on your boomer fitness track, oh yes you do. And there are a few simple fitness tips for doing just that:

  • Burn those extra calories you’ve ingested with a little more exercise the next day, and maybe the following day too. This is probably the best advice because besides burning off those extra calories, you’ll get the heart and lungs working a little harder.
  • Cut your calories back a few per day over the next few days.
  • If you have the option, choose the light beer at the ol’ ball game.
  • Again, if you have the choice, choose the regular sized hot dog; remember, the most enjoyment comes from the first couple of bites anyway.
  • If you’re viewing the game from home, again, go for the light beer.
  • Eat low-fat or lower-fat hot dogs when watching from home; if you’ve never tried them, there are some pretty darn good ones available.
  • Oh, and if you like popcorn at the ballpark, sorry, skip it. That stuff is loaded with fat and preservatives, delivered from a “popcorn factory.”
  • Popcorn with home viewing is under your control, however, so you can make a more intelligent choice.
  • Grab that bag of healthy peanuts, but share with the crowd to hold down your portion size.
  • And finally, exercise even more if need be, for the reasons mentioned above. If you have a treadmill at home near a TV, or your club has treadmills with TVs, you can burn a lot of calories while watching the next ballgame! And if you really focus on getting in an extra good workout… you can even have the bigger hot dog and the heartier beer.


So yell “Play Ball” and enjoy your hot dogs and beers, but do it right.

Follow Bob Merz and 50PlusPlusFit online.


  1. Bob,
    Great tips! I’m a nutritionist and wellness coach and these are exactly the type of tips I give people. I tell them it’s OK to “be a little bad.” Food is one of the joys in life, but we need to find ways to eat real food in reasonable quantities and squeeze exer-snacks into our day.

  2. I enjoyed the article and agreed with Lorie’s comment that it’s okay to be a little bad. But, as a physician, I want to offer one warning. Your health is 80 percent your diet and 20 percent your level of exercise. If you eat food, including most hot dogs and hamburgers, packed with contaminants, chemicals, and GMOs, you cannot “burn” them off with a burst of increased exercise or a subsequent decrease in caloric consumption. Those particles stay in your body, circulating through your blood. If we drew a vial of blood from each person reading this article, the great majority would test positive for a high number of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, and an even higher majority would test positive for GMOs. So, yes, enjoy your food. Be a little bad. Just know what you are eating and what chemical / agricultural company produced that food. That knowledge could save your life.

    1. I agree with Wiliam Courter, we are what we eat. Better to be eating for longevity and health. To appease the bad habits we have, is not going to make for a healthy life giving energy we are looking for when we no longer work 9-5 JOB.
      There is a solution to dropping fat, as its about inches and not weight loss. Diets that lose water, muscle and bone are detrimental to our well being.
      There is a requirement for lifestyle change: willingness to stop doing the same thing over and over expecting different results!

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