Give Dad The Gift of Health
Salem Creekside Newsletter - June 2015
This Father's Day
Chances are, Dad doesn't need another tie or barbecue set. So, what do you give the man who has everything? Since Father's Day coincides with National Men's Health Month in June, give him the gift of health by encouraging good habits that will keep him an active part of the family.
And if you're a Dad yourself, it's good to remember that the most key player on your healthy living team is – you. The best way to keep going strong through the decades is to live with prevention in mind, staving off disease and injury before they occur. That means being comfortably active, eating well and yes, even paying attention to your emotional health.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
- Don't smoke - Smoking not only causes lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema, but studies show it can also contribute to cognitive decline, stroke, autoimmune diseases, vision problems, and erectile dysfunction.
- Limit alcohol - Men should not regularly exceed 2 alcoholic drinks (12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1oz shot) per day. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to heart disease, liver damage, anxiety and depression. It can also affect your sex drive, your ability to maintain an erection, and your appearance. No one wants that.
- Stay connected - The health connection between mind and body is REAL. When our emotional state is precarious, the body may suffer loss of appetite or sleep, headaches, intestinal distress and more. Healthy relationships with friends and loved ones give men an outlet for frustrations - and creates an important dynamic of connectedness. Don't keep your feelings bottled up, guys.
- Eat well - Atkins, paleo and South Beach aside, a good rule of thumb for any body type is to eat more plants, less sugar and fewer processed foods, and a bit less of everything in general. Eliminating soda from your day may be one of the most important things you can do as well. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories that you don't need..
- Get moving - Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, so make sure to get a good mix of aerobic exercise and strength training. If you're sedentary now, consider adding some moderate intensity activities to your repertoire, such as playing tennis; then ease into more vigorous activities like jogging or basketball.
- Get screened - Talk to your primary care provider about the screenings and immunizations that are recommended for your age, lifestyle and family medical history. At a minimum, have your blood pressure and vision checked annually, and schedule a check-up every couple of years.
Making positive changes to your lifestyle now goes a long way toward preventing health problems down the road. The clichés are true: "all good things in moderation, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the best offense is a good defense".