Here are 10 important tips to share to ensure your Dad remains healthy and fit for life:
1. EAT A BALANCED DIET LOW IN FAT AND HIGH IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Eating a healthy diet low in fat and at least five fruits and vegetables a day lowers risk of heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
2. GET 30 MINUTES OF MODERATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week reduces the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also help dads maintain a healthy body weight, joint strength and mobility.
3. GET A PHYSICAL EXAM AND IMPORTANT SCREENINGS. Dads age 50 and older should make an appointment to be screened for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. Regular colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and after can find and remove polyps before they ever become cancerous, or enable early treatment, when it can be most effective.
Although effective measures to prevent prostate cancer have not yet been identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all men talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits of screening so that they can make informed decisions about whether screening is right for them.
4. CHOOSE YOUR COVER. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and one of the most preventable. Dads of all ages should practice sun safety by seeking shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; wearing a hat, shirt, and pants that cover arms and legs (when possible), and sunglasses; and using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
5. PLAY IT SAFE. Wearing a seatbelt in a car or a helmet while biking can help protect dads from serious harm and possibly death in the event of a crash.
6. DON'T ABUSE ALCOHOL. Alcohol abuse causes 100,000 premature deaths in the U.S. every year. Alcohol is a powerful drug that slows down the body and mind. It impairs coordination, slows reaction time, and impairs vision, clear thinking and judgment. Drink responsibly. Above all, do not drink and drive.
7. DO NOT USE TOBACCO. Avoiding tobacco of all kinds dramatically reduces a man's risk of premature death and disability from heart disease and stroke, chronic lung disease, and cancers of the lung, larynx, esophagus, mouth and bladder.
8. PREVENT DISABILITY FROM ARTHRITIS. Weight control and injury prevention (especially sports-related injuries) can lower dads' risk for developing one of the most common types of arthritis: osteoarthritis. If Dad does develop arthritis, he can lessen pain and disability through early diagnosis and appropriate management, including weight control, physical activity, and self-management strategies.
9. GET VACCINATED. Vaccines aren't just for kids. Far too many adults become ill, are disabled, and die each year from diseases that could easily have been prevented by vaccines. Adults age 50 and over and anyone who has health problems such as diabetes and heart disease should get a flu shot every fall. Adults age 55 and over should get a pneumococcal vaccine. It is effective for at least 10 years and helps reduce hospitalizations and premature death due to pneumonia among the elderly.
10. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Play and recreation are important for good health. Look for opportunities to be active and have fun at the same time. Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity (hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc.). Most of all, remind Dad you love to spend time with him.
If your dad has any special health problems that might affect his following these tips, he should consult his doctor. To find out more about men's health visit HealthFinder.gov for Men