Father’s Day is reserved for celebrating the men in our lives. Whether it’s grandpa, dad, an uncle, or a husband, families do what they can on this day each year to make each man feel special and appreciated. While a new tie, a round of golf or a pair of game tickets may be well-received, the most generous gift one can give is information that will help him take stock of his health and well-being.
Here are five important messages to share with him this Father’s Day – or any day of the year:
• Eat well: It’s important to make healthy choices and consume a well-balanced diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, milk and alternatives, protein and healthy fats each day, to provide the body with the energy, vitamins and minerals it requires.
• Be active: According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, being active for at least 150 minutes per week can help reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, premature death and certain types of cancer. Exercise also promotes improved fitness, strength and mental health.
• Laugh more: Research shows laughter is a great medicine. Humour produces psychological and physiological effects on the body that are similar to the health benefits of aerobic exercise.
• Get checked: Though many men tend to avoid their doctor, an annual visit is highly recommended by health care practitioners. It allows for necessary tests to screen for a variety of health issues and help to flag anything that could be cause for concern.
• Address issues: If his strength and muscle tone aren’t the same as what they were last summer, or he’s not himself lately (irritable mood, lack of concentration, low energy etc.) –it’s important to investigate. These symptoms can be attributed to several conditions; in some cases, the culprit is hypogonadism, also known as low testosterone. This medical condition, which can be undiagnosed, is estimated to affect up to 25 per cent of men in Canada over the age of 40, and can lead to symptoms such as reduced sex drive, decreased energy, body changes, mood changes and sexual dysfunction. In addition, the prevalence of low testosterone in men suffering from Type 2 diabetes is between 33 per cent and 50 per cent, and clinical guidelines published by the Endocrine Society recommend screening the testosterone levels of all men with Type 2 diabetes. If he is experiencing any symptoms out of the ordinary, it’s important that he speaks with his doctor. Not all cases of low testosterone need to be treated, but it can be a warning sign for other health concerns.