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The Seventh-Inning Stretch

Baseball lore has it that the seventh-inning stretch originates from President Taft standing up to stretch his legs at a Philadelphia Athletics game in 1910. Or, perhaps it was a few decades earlier when the manager of the Cincinnati Red Stockings documented how fans rose from the “hard benches” between halves of the seventh inning.

In any case, the tradition provides spectators at the ballpark and fans watching at home alike an opportunity to stretch their legs and – especially in the privacy of your living room – get those muscles moving even more.

Remember, many studies have shown the health benefits of even moderate exercise. While early research found a lower risk of progression of prostate cancer in men who engaged in vigorous exercise, more recent studies saw benefit with just brisk walking. Exercise is also important for mental wellness, and can actually help counteract some of the side effects of hormone therapy, such as fatigue and weight gain.

How can you take advantage of the seventh-inning stretch? If you’re at home….play ball! Grab a friend, a ball, and a couple of mitts, and head outside for a quick game of catch (start with some easy pitches to avoid injury).

Here are some other suggestions for easy home exercises from PCF-funded researcher Dr. Christina Dieli-Conwright.

  • “Couch squats:” Stand up and sit down, using the sofa or a sturdy chair, over and over for 30 seconds.
  • Push-ups: You don’t have to do the full-body push-up with straight legs; you can do it with your knees on the ground.
  • Wall sits:  Back to the wall, bend your knees and slide down, hold five seconds, then push back up. Be sure your feet are positioned far enough away from the wall, so when you “sit,” your knees form a 90-degree angle.

Repeat during commercial breaks for bonus health points!

Granted, if you’re at the stadium, you might feel a little silly dropping to the ground for a one-minute plank. But finding some stairs or doing a mini-lap around your seating area is perfectly socially acceptable.

The MLB-PCF Home Run Challenge encourages everyone to join the fight against prostate cancer by raising awareness and funds for research through America’s favorite pastime—baseball. Now through June 18, join in the fun, pledge a donation, and follow your favorite team! Go to PCF.org/HomeRunChallenge to learn more.