Father’s Day in the United States is always held on the third Sunday of June and people across the country take time to celebrate the contribution fathers and those who serve as father figures make daily in the lives of their children.
While fathers should enjoy the gifts and glory that come with Father’s Day, they also should give themselves and their families a gift in return: a lifelong dedication to healthy living.
Fathers, that means taking good care of yourself. Men are at a higher risk than women for many deadly health conditions and die an average of five years younger than women, so it’s important to be proactive. Eat right. Exercise regularly. Visit the doctor. Stay healthy and strong in mind and body. Maintain a healthy work-life balance. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy being the best dad you can be:
Live tobacco free
Old habits die hard, but even worse they can get picked up by your kids who look up to you. Tobacco use increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and infertility. Whether you smoke, dip or vape, quitting tobacco today will make a difference you can feel. Call 1-800-Quit-Now or visit www.scdhec.gov/QuitForKeeps for free 24/7 help from trained Quit Coaches.
Make mental wellness a priority
Being a dad can sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but you don’t need to feel like you are carrying a burden alone. Depression often goes undiagnosed in male patients and men are four times more likely to commit suicide. Visit your doctor, talk to a trusted friend and ask questions so you can get help feeling your best.
Eating right means establishing a daily diet that includes a variety of fruits, dark green, starchy and other vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals. If you have a history of prediabetes or diabetes, limit your starches. Eat a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds and soy products. Stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy, limit fried dishes and skip saturated fats altogether.
Find a new hobby or make time for your favorite one and build up your energy and your strength by doing something you love. Running, swimming, hiking, golf, soccer, fencing, tennis, paddling, walking man’s best friend or even yard work are all great ways to get outside, enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise. Make time for yourself – 30 minutes five days a week is recommended.
Stay on schedule
No one likes going to the doctor, but regular check-ups can actually help you see a doctor less by keeping you healthy before problems start. Follow suggested checkup and screening guidelines.
With proper rest, diet, exercise and other preventive health measures, men can live longer, happier lives. And that, for sure, would make for many more Happy Father’s Days to come.