Black fathers’ group focusing on fitness as way to pass down healthy habits

This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.

Milton Yates (left) and Terrence Mann (right) at a Fit DC event.

You may have heard the phrase “generational wealth” — financial assets being passed down from one generation of family to the next — but one local group wants Black men to focus on generational health.

Terrance Mann, a coordinator for Fit Fathers DC and Hard Training Fitness Club, wants fathers to lead the charge to pass down good health habits to their children and grandchildren.

“If the man is working out, he’s eating right, being healthy, then everyone else in the household will follow,” he said.

Black men have the lowest life expectancy of any other demographic group in the U.S. mainly because of racial disparities in health care. The average life expectancy of Black men is 72 years, four years less than their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although access to quality heath care is the main reason that Black Americans have worse health outcomes, Milton Yates, founder of My Fit Fam DC, says he’s seeing more Black men paying more attention to their health.

“We’re talking to each other about our relationships, working out, better ways to eat and what we should be staying away from,” Yates said.

Yates, a father of three, and Mann, a father of two, said Fit Fathers DC host free, interactive and fun-filled fitness exhibitions that include health and nutrition discussions and Crank Boxing Workouts (Boxing to the Go-Go Beat) every month.

They helped host Deanwood Day in Northeast D.C. on May 20, and held their 10th annual Fit Fathers & Families Event on Father’s Day Sunday.

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant is an Anchor and Reporter for WTOP. Over the past 20 years, Stephanie has worked in several markets, including Baltimore, Washington, Houston and Charleston, holding positions ranging from newscaster to morning show co-host.

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