Commentary

Take me out to the workout

Originally Published: April 6, 2010
By Adam Watson | Special to Page 2

The MLB regular season has begun and with the crack of the bat comes the stretching of the belt.

Baseball fans everywhere have already started chasing hot dogs, French fries, Cracker Jack, beer, soft drinks and everything else we haven't mentioned. The occasional Italian sausage is fine, but for most patrons of America's pastime refueling every inning isn't the best idea.

In the past few years, all-you-can-eat sections have popped up at more than a dozen ballparks. But even all they have to offer is no match for the latest caloric monstrosity to hit the bleachers. That distinction belongs to the Fifth Third Fantastic Freeze Sundae at Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens.

Mud Hens marketing officials claim the 15-scoop sundae is meant for four to eight people, but you just know there are plenty of fans who will take on the challenge individually. So we at Page 2 would like to put in perspective just what it takes to work off this 3,800 calorie behemoth in case you're the type of baseball fan who has a Babe Ruth-sized appetite. We've enlisted the developer of the Power 90 and P90X workout programs, fitness expert Tony Horton, to help.

Exercise 1: The Wave

Horton: "If you're actually the kind of person who is looking to burn some calories off at a ballgame there are some simple little stand-up, sit-down squats you can do," Horton says. "I would say start the wave as much as you can!"

The average person burns about a half a calorie every time he stands up. So in order to work off the Fifth Third Fantastic Freeze, you would have to do the wave 7,600 times.

Exercise 2: Jumping and Cheering

Horton: "Let's hope your team scores a lot so you get to jump up and down a few more times."

Jumping and cheering for your team certainly burns more calories than sitting, but at only 306 calories an hour, it would take nearly 12.5 hours of constant jumping and cheering to work off all 3,800 calories.

Exercise 3: Running Stairs

Horton: "There are plenty of stairs at ballparks. I would say between innings run some stairs. Go up and down a few times. If you go up and down 20 stairs three or four times that can amount to something."

But if you want to burn off this entire monster sundae, you'll have to run stairs at 6 mph for more than 5.5 hours.

The reality is that there is no exercise or combination that you could use to work off the Fifth Third Fantastic Freeze Sundae in the three hours it takes to play a baseball game. No amount of doing the wave or even running stairs can counter all those trips baseball fans make to the all-you-can-eat pavilion during a season. So the next time you're at the ballpark, maybe you'll think twice about all those tasty temptations.

"I don't know why going to a ballgame gives people an excuse to eat like a Roman," Horton says. "But hopefully after reading what it takes to work that food off people will choose to eat something that's maybe not quite so nasty."

(The calorie counts included were calculated at HealthStatus.com and based on a 150-pound person.)

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