Dad, make sure you know best: Follow these tips for healthier living

Dad giving his young daughter a piggy-back ride. Both are smiling.

Some health tips are universal, but as we approach Father’s Day we wanted to talk to the men out there – especially fathers. Did you know research shows the chance of middle-age obesity goes up with each child you have?

While you may consider adding that to the column of ills you can blame on your children, you do have some control over your health. So, dads, here are a few reminders to keep yourselves fit, healthy and happy for many Father’s Days to come.

Eat smart

Everyone knows it, hardly anyone achieves it: You should eat at least five servings (400 g) of fruits and vegetables each day from a variety of color categories. Each color offers different phytonutrients. Men should especially include reds – beets, berries, tomatoes – because they support prostate health along with heart and DNA health. Consider supplements to fill the nutrient gaps left empty by your diet.

Get moving

The more you move, the longer you’ll be able to move as you age. Experts recommend exercising regularly, three to four times a week – a mix of cardio and strength training. And don’t forget to stretch! If you’re starting from scratch, consult a doctor or a trainer to develop a routine that is right for you.

Speaking of doctors

Go see one at least once a year and as needed in between. An apple a day, while filled with fiber, phytonutrients and other healthy features, is no substitute for regular checkups. Seeing your doctor each year develops a baseline, allowing them to notice any changes early. If you’re feeling like something is off, call. Don’t wait for your next checkup.

Don’t use tobacco

Really, there’s nothing more to say on that subject.

Make sleep a priority

Over the long term, sleep deprivation lowers your metabolism and increases your chance of gaining weight. It reduces your body’s ability to fight diseases and it messes with your ability to concentrate and remember things. You’re not being lazy when you sleep, you are being healthy.

Take care of your skin

When your skin feels good and looks good, you are more likely to feel confident and content, so skincare regimens are not just for women. Men’s skin is different from women’s and there are products out there just for you.

Dad playing with his young son outside.

Cultivate strong relationships

There are multiple benefits to having a strong social network, including ready access to support and comfort when you need it. The social connections provided by close friends and family can help you relax and reduce stress, too.

And dads, your kids are part of that support network. So, as Father’s Day approaches, plan some down time with your kids. It’s good for your health!