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Father’s Day – Help Dad stay Healthy

Father’s Day – Help Dad stay Healthy

Father’s Day - Help Dad stay Healthy

Father’s Day falls in June which also happens to be Men’s Health Month. It’s the perfect time to celebrate all the amazing dads out there and encourage them to prioritize their health so they live long, vibrant lives for us all to enjoy together.

Spending quality time together doesn’t just strengthen relationships, it also enhances physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for all involved. “Research shows that children with affectionate dads who spend quality time with them are more likely to be engaged in school and go to college, be more social, and exhibit more self-confidence,” reports University of Nevada (UNLV News Center). “They’re also less likely to have issues with substance abuse or encounter legal troubles.” 

According to Brandon Eddy, a professor and researcher with UNLV’s Couple and Family Therapy Program, dads are spending triple the time with their kids compared to those from previous generations and dads benefit greatly too, especially when it comes to their mental wellbeing. This is often overlooked in the realm of men’s health.

Family therapist Brandon Eddy
Family therapist Brandon Eddy encourages dads to take care of their health and wellbeing. (Image supplied by unlv.edu/news.)

Men avoid going to the doctor

Eddy’s advice for fathers: Work on and take care of yourself: “It’s really hard to provide aid and support to people when we are struggling ourselves. It’s critical to take the time to attend to your own mental health” – and physical health too.

It’s a fact that men tend to put less of a focus on their health than women – they don’t see doctors as often and skip recommended screenings. Actually, two-thirds of men avoid going to the doctors as long as possible, reports a Cleveland Clinic study. That leads to serious health ramifications: Men tend to live more years of their lives with bad health than women, and they have shorter life spans too.

One study shows that 72% of men live unhealthy lifestyles, including a poor diet, problem drinking, not exercising or not getting regular sleep. This leaves them vulnerable to a host of chronic conditions and disease than women – they’re 60% more likely to die from heart disease, 40% more likely to die from cancer, 50% more likely to die from diabetes.

Prevention is key

The good news is that up to 70% of  health problems can be avoided with healthier habits, according to the study by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF). The foundation stresses men take charge of their health – get screenings, eat well, exercise, get outdoors and address mental health issues.

CMHF offers a Mindfit Tookit and mental health resources for men to manage stress, anxiety and depression. Asking for help and seeking help is not a sign of weakness – it shows inner strength and insight but also equips men to better take on life’s challenges, and be the best dads.

Proactive steps for optimal health

Encourage dad to take these proactive steps from the experts at McMaster’s Optimal Aging Portal:

  • Get screened: Regular check-ups and screenings for common health concerns like prostate cancer are crucial for early detection and treatment.
  • Move your body: Exercise is essential for maintaining muscle strength, flexibility and bone density. No gym membership needed – it can be as simple as making walking a regular part of your day.
  • Fuel your body right: Eat a healthy diet packed with nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It will give you the energy you need to thrive.
  • Prioritize sleep: Feeling rested will boost your mood, focus, and overall health.
  • Mind your mental health: Don’t bottle things up! Talking to a friend, family member or healthcare provider can help manage stress, anxiety and other issues.
  • Maintain social connections: Cultivate and nourish your relationships with family, friends, and community members. Stay active in your community, join social groups or clubs, and participate in activities that interest you. Engaging with others and fostering social connections boost mental wellbeing and help create a sense of purpose, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.

Independence boosts wellbeing

As dad gets older, requirements for optimal health change and for many seniors living in their own homes boosts overall wellbeing. With the proper steps and home management supports, aging in place can be stress-free and reinforce their sense of independence.

More and more in-home resources are available including tech products, food delivery options, and home maintenance and yard work assistance, in particular Custodia Home Management, to help older parents age in place safely, comfortably and happily.

Focus on one another

Meanwhile, family therapist Eddy has advice for dads of all ages to build lasting bonds with their kids:

  • Maintain strong relationships or marriages. “Fathers who are working on their own relationship, who are working to better themselves, making sure that their marriage and partnership is strong, are typically going to be better parents and be more emotionally available to their children.” 
  • Spend quality time with kids. Not just watching TV. Take time to do other things with them: What are their hobbies? “Be interested in what they’re interested in. It’s important to prioritize what they find interesting in their lives.”
  • Tune out technology to focus on one another. “For my family, it’s traveling, camping, and experiencing different places together… Whether it’s dedicated time at a campsite or at the dinner table at home, it’s really good to spend focused time together just talking as a family.”

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