Health And Wellness

5 Ways To Help The Dads In Your Life Live Longer

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5 Health Tips For Men & Dads

What will it take to ensure that your father remains a healthy man and lives longer?

As I scrolled through the many warm and heartfelt Father’s Day posts on social media recently, I smiled in sharing joy with some who celebrated their dads, husbands, sons, and sons-in-law.

I was tearful with others in sharing sweet memories and losses, some very recent.

Others, I found myself both smiling and shedding a tear as I shared a knowledge of an act of forgiveness that took place, opening their hearts, allowing for the message they chose to share with friends and family.

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And then, I thought of my own — my sons who are still young and not yet fathers, my husband who became a dad the day he married me — stepping into the role and stepping up in every way since becoming a first-time "father" at 40 to our own child.

My thoughts then brought me to my Daddy, my first love, the man whose shoes I stood on, planting my feet into his, as he danced me around the linoleum-floored kitchen of my childhood home.

This beloved man passed away 15 years ago when his heart could not keep up with his desire to live. And this is why I'm writing and sharing with you now.

Generally speaking, men die younger than women.

Many sources find that, on average, men die 10 years earlier than women. I've often wondered why.

Reasons range from their having more risky occupations to fewer social connections and higher medical risks, including the fact that many avoid doctor's visits.

A friend of mine recently noticed the signs of stroke in her partner and got him to the emergency room in time to save his life, though he now has a long road to recovery.

It was a result of undiagnosed and untreated hypertension after years of not having routine medical exams.

Much of what deteriorates life prematurely is preventable. Research and statistics say men still tend to avoid routine medical checkups.

Those reasons range from not having time to go to, denial that anything serious could be wrong, and fear that something is wrong and not wanting to face it.

All of these excuses can lead to an untimely death.

So, what can we do to help the dads in our lives live longer?

No matter his age, here are 5 important health tips for men and dads.

1. Psych him up for the physical exam.

If he hasn’t had one in more than a year, help him book it. If he has, review it with him and inspire him with your interest.

Ensure he prepares a thorough health history to share with his doctor, finding ways to reassure and support him.

Does he need you to hold his hand or kick his butt? No excuses!

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2. Learn his basic metrics.

These include weight, waistline measurement, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol — see if any need to be regulated.

Check in with him periodically to see how he's managing.

He's responsible for his health, and you're responsible to him — to love him, care for him, notice him, to offer help when he's overwhelmed, and call him out when he is hiding behind excuses.

3. Encourage physical activity.

Review age-appropriate guidelines for recommended aerobic and non-aerobic levels of activity.

If there's an opportunity for group fitness, he just may get that needed social connection, as well.

4. Refresh his diet.

Introduce him to some new ways to eat well, depending on his metrics.

Easy, blended meals can be tasty and full of nutrients, adding a boost and positive habit change.

5. Revitalize his mind.

Inspire and applaud ongoing personal development, growth, and learning by being curious about his interests, and perhaps undeveloped talents.

Don’t wait until next Father’s Day to get him a gift that could enhance or prolong his life.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Home blood-pressure kit
  • Fitness tracker watch
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
  • Yoga class, cycling club membership, etc.
  • Subscription to a meal delivery service
  • Community center or gym membership

Perhaps the best gift of all would be your accompanying him to that doctor’s appointment, if at all possible.

Make it a date for the two of you, an annual one, and enjoy making those Father’s Day posts for many years to come.

Cheers to longevity, health, and happiness.

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Ann Papayoti, CPC, is a life coach and personal development professional helping people help themselves through losses and transitions as a relationship expert. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website.

This article was originally published at SkyView Coaching Facebook Page. Reprinted with permission from the author.