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Give Dad the Gift of Health on Father's Day

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 -- The best present you can give your dad this Father's Day is to help him get healthy, according to a doctor specializing in men's health.

"We tend to think men don't want to talk about their own health, but I find that's really not the case with most. Dads are much more open than you'd think to talk about their health," said Dr. Jesse Mills. He is director of The Men's Clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles.

One way that children, no matter their age, can help dad is to become his workout buddy or at least be part of his exercise routine.

"Even when dad is taking care of the kids, the kids don't have to be a roadblock for his exercise. Dads of toddlers can run while pushing the stroller, and stop at the playground with his kids mid-workout," Mills said in a university news release.

Sleep is another important health habit for fathers. Men should get six to eight hours of sleep a night. Less than that can contribute to a number of health problems, Mills added.

"Testosterone, for example, is made while sleeping, so inadequate sleep is a big harm to men's health," Mills explained.

Fathers also need "me time" each day, even if it's only 30 minutes.

"Giving the guy in your life some time each day for a healthy activity -- like a nap, reading time or exercise, rather than a trip to the sports bar -- will help him develop good habits," Mills said.

Men also need to be aware of specific health markers in each decade of life, and families can help them do that.

"Dads in their 30s should get checked for healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and should be doing a testicular self-exam monthly. Dads in their 50s should receive a colonoscopy and should begin getting screened by their doctors for prostate cancer," Mills explained.

More information

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has more on men's health.

Posted: June 2017


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