Make Dad invincible this Father’s Day

dad and son with dumbbells

In his children’s eyes, Dad is the strongest, fastest, most unstoppable guy on the planet. But if he’s a superhero, then middle-age health troubles could be his kryptonite. So instead of gifting Superman socks or another “Top Pop” mug this Father’s Day, give him a push toward wellness. Dr. Pooya Rostami shares some proactive health steps to keep Dad feeling like a Man of Steel. (Don’t worry: He’ll only have to swap his cape for a patient gown temporarily.) 

Mental Marvels
Superheroes may be known for their strength and speed, but keeping Dad in top form isn’t just about physical fitness—wellness involves mental health, too. A 2008 study in Social Science & Medicine notes that depression in American males peaks at age 50. “Unfortunately, when it comes to mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and stress disorders, men are less likely than women to acknowledge there’s an issue and seek help,” points out Dr. Rostami. 

As Dad’s sidekicks, family members can:

If you notice something’s off, prompt him to seek professional support. 

Check Mate
You can also reassure Dad that doctors aren’t villains. “The notion that seeing the doctor is a sign of weakness is outdated. Society now celebrates a more proactive approach to health,” says Dr. Rostami. However Dad gets there, whether driving, zooming (thanks to telehealth) or flying through the air, urge him to see a primary care physician annually. In addition to standard checks of height, weight, blood pressure, vision and hearing, the doctor will ensure he’s up-to-date on preventive screenings for: 

Cancer and heart disease are the top two causes of death in men 45 and older. “Screenings like these can detect disease early when it’s most treatable,” explains Dr. Rostami, noting that genetics and lifestyle can influence a person’s screening guidelines. 

Super Powered 
Safeguarding your superhero’s health also requires attention to the basics: regular exercise, a balanced diet and quality sleep:

Latino dad and son

Thankfully, getting Dad to the doctor shouldn’t be a battle royale. “There’s a growing recognition among men that maintaining good health leads to a full, productive life and positively impacts the family,” Dr. Rostami says. “Self care is now viewed as responsible and even admirable.”

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