This June 19th we have two things to celebrate – the beginning of summer and Father’s Day. However you choose to celebrate, do your Dad a favor by passing along these tips and resources to keep him healthy this summer!
Find a doctor and make an appointment
Did you know that men live about seven years less than women in the United States? One of the reasons for this may be that men don’t see their doctors as often as they should or don’t have a primary care physician (PCP), and miss out on important preventative tests and screenings. When you consider that heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes account for nearly 60% of all deaths in men, you can see how important it is to not only have a doctor, but see your doctor on a regular basis, says Dr. Diaz. Even if Dad feels healthy, encourage him to make an annual appointment. Remind him to consider physicians who are in network, conveniently located, and with whom he is comfortable speaking about his personal health.
For a list of PCP’s accepting new patients call a physician referral line: Kent Hospital – (401) 727-9950 Memorial Hospital – (800) 647-4362 Women & Infants Hospital (800) 921-9299
Check your ticker.
Heart disease continues to be a major killer among men. Whether Dad has a history of heart disease or you are concerned about his heart health, have him take the time to see a cardiologist to make sure his heart is ticking healthy! Care New England’s cardiovascular program has convenient locations throughout state to provide you quality heart care. Call (401) 681-4996 or visit carenewengland.org/cardiology to learn more about the services offered.
Get your colonoscopy.
If Dad is 50 or older, encourage him to get a colonoscopy. In the recent Talks Your Health post The Bottom Line on Colonoscopy, it said colonoscopies are the first step in preventing colon cancer which is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Ninety percent of new cases occur in people 50 and older. Having a colonoscopy could save Dad’s life, so tell him to make an appointment today! Ambulatory Surgery Center at Kent Hospital (401) 737-9950 Endoscopy Center at Memorial Hospital (401) 729-2000
Catch some ZZZs.
“Although it is often seen as just a break from the day’s activities, it is necessary for one’s overall mental and physical week-being” says Jeanne Chretien, CRT, RST, RPSGT, lead sleep technologist for the Sleep Center at Kent Hospital. Adults should get about seven hours of sleep a night and shouldn’t compensate for lack of sleep with exercise or coffee. Check out more self-help tips for better sleep. If getting a full night’s sleep is still an issue, have Dad set up a sleep study at: Memorial Hospital Sleep Lab (401) 729-2635 Kent Hospital Sleep Lab (401) 736-3727
Have a healthy mind.
We all need to fit a mental health check-up into our lives, especially since depression and anxiety are common but can be avoided. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if Dad should connect with a mental health professional. For more information on anxiety and depression, please call (401) 455-6200.
Plan those meals.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important and can help prevent serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, and some cancers, says Dr. Diaz. There are plenty of ways you can help Dad eat right like helping him embrace whole grains and beans, stocking up on frozen vegetables for a quick dinner supplement, and helping him plan meals using the local market’s circular. If he still needs help, the Care New England Wellness Center offers programs that focus on long-term lifestyle changes. Call (401) 732-3066 or visit wellnessctr.org/nutrition.
Life can be hectic. Regular exercise is important but we don’t always have an hour to spend at the gym. Instead, consider setting a personal goal of 10,000 steps a day and incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. For instance, if you live near your job, walk or bike to work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Playing outside, family bike rides, or coaching your children’s sports teams are great ways to combine exercise and quality time with your family, Dr. Diaz says. There are lots of ways to track your fitness progress, from fitness bands to mobile apps – iPhone Health app, MapMyWalk, and MyFitnessPal, just to name a few. Consider getting Dad a wearable device or download an app to set goals and keep track of his fitness.
Most importantly, have fun!
Father’s Day is all about Dad or the father figure in your life. Encourage him to take time for himself all year long whether it’s enjoying an audio-book or going for a run. Join him, share stories and a laugh!