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5 health tips every dad should know

Photo: advencap via Flickr

With Father’s Day right around the corner, Health Talk is putting the focus on dads this week.

With the help of William Roberts, M.D., professor with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Family Medicine and Community Health, Health Talk compiled a list of essential health tips for dad to help keep him healthy for a long time.

Roberts’ health tips for dad are:

1. Get regular screenings and tests – There’s a reason why it’s called a yearly exam. Don’t neglect your regular exams, tests and screenings. This becomes even more critical as you age, especially after age 50-65. With regular exams, your doctor will be able to get a better picture of your overall health and any changes that might have occurred and provide recommendations and care as needed. Ask your doctor what needs to be checked out based on your age and health history.

2. Diet and exercise – You’ve probably heard it a thousand times (and for good reason) but a healthy diet and exercise can dramatically affect your overall health and reduce your chances for a variety of conditions including diabetes, heart attack, obesity, etc.

“Try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise every day of the week and include some strength exercises, too.”

3. Listen to your body – A lot of dads will put off going to the doctor or hospital out of pride amongst other things when there is something unusual going on. Don’t be a hero and listen to your body. If something seems off and you are not feeling your usual self, contact your doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Too many men die of ignored symptoms each year.”

4. Limit and/or avoid alcohol and never use tobacco – The effects of tobacco and alcohol have been well-documented. In moderation, wine and even beer has been shown to have some heart health benefits. Do your best to limit alcohol consumption and drink in moderation. “My health saying for men is “you can have up to 2 per day but you can’t bank them.”

On the other hand, tobacco use in every form and usage level is bad. There are programs and medications available to you to help you quit this costly and life-shortening habit.

5. Catch some Zzzzz’s – A good night’s sleep is like hitting the restart button on your computer and can make all the difference in your functionality, attitude, energy level and health. “Sleep is the forgotten stepchild of health and is important for recharging the body’s systems.”

Serious conditions like sleep apnea exist and the more weight you carry, especially around your stomach area can affect your health. Losing weight can help reduce these risks. Click here to read more about sleep benefits.

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