5 Ways To Help The Dads In Your Life Live Longer

The excuses men make for neglecting their health can be dangerous.

Last updated on Jun 17, 2023

Elderly father with adult son, walking through a grove, arm around the other affectionately Chokniti Studio / shutterstock 

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, and allowing for the message they chose to share with friends and family.


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The truth about men and healthy living

I thought of my own kids — 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.

Why dads of all ages often need help with health

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 a 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?


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No matter his age, here are five 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 on 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.


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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 a few gift ideas:

  • Home blood-pressure kit
  • Fitness tracker watch
  • Sunhat and sunscreen
  • Yoga class, cycling club membership, etc.
  • Subscription to a meal delivery service
  • A gym membership

Perhaps the best gift of all would be to go with 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, PCC, is a relationship coach, author, and speaker helping people help themselves through losses and transitions. She helps people untangle from their past and heal their hearts.