Healthy tips for the dads out there
June is Men’s Health Month and it is also the month that we celebrate the Dads in our life. June is the perfect time to remind our Dads about the importance of their health and wellness. A wonderful gift you can give dad is the encouragement to lead a healthy life style all year long. Here are some tips.
Get regular checkups. Annual or yearly visits to a primary care physician are recommended to make sure that weight, blood pressure and other vital signs are within normal limits. Bloodwork can also be done to ensure blood counts, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels are normal. These screenings can minimize disease risk and help detect problems before they become more serious. This is also a good opportunity to bring up any health concerns, physical or mental, that you may have.
Take part in cancer screenings. Routine cancer screenings can detect certain cancers before the body shows symptoms. Colon cancer screening should start at age 45 for men of average risk. This age may be even earlier if you have certain risk factors and/ or a positive family history of colorectal cancer. Additionally, men may want to consider prostate cancer screening, such as testing prostate specific antigen (PSA) which is a blood draw. The general recommendation for low risk men is to begin this screening at age 50. Men should also consider taking part in skin cancer screenings yearly as well. Early detection is an effective way to reduce mortality and improve outcomes in these types of cancers.
Follow up with any specialist visits. If you are sent for additional testing or to a specialist, remember to keep these visits. Sometimes they are yearly and other times they are more frequent and it can be hard to always stay on schedule. Also, remember to keep your routine dental visits/cleanings and eye exams. Prevention is key to overall health and wellness.
Using healthcare facilities patient portals. Hinging on the above paragraph, many healthcare facilities and physician offices are now utilizing online patient portals for appointment reminders, prescription renewals, test results and other health related communications. For our older dads and granddads, this technology can often be a challenge. This is where the kids and grandkids can step in and help with setting up and navigating patient portals. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from the technologically savvy generation.
Focus on heart health and managing stress. Improving and maintaining cardiovascular health is important for middle aged and older men. To keep your heart healthy, 150 minutes or 2.5 hours of cardiovascular exercise a week is recommended, according to the American Heart Association. We can encourage the dads we love to start a walking regimen, now that the weather is warm. Exercise also helps with stress. Remember to take care of our mental health as well, by identifying sources of stress and taking steps to manage it.
Happy and a healthy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.
Maria H. Drzaszcz, a Hammonton resident, is a registered nurse with 14 years critical care experience and is the proud mom of three young children.