Give dad the gift of good health

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Give dad the gift of good health by making sure he is living a healthy lifestyle

Developing a healthier lifestyle or losing weight can often seem like an overwhelming feat. But managing weight and staying up to date with preventative care are key to living a healthy, active life.

“As men age, it’s important for them to be proactive in their health,” Dr. Ajay Zachariah, Seton Family of Doctors at Round Rock, said. “Regular visits with the doctor and simple, healthy lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, can make a big difference for their physical health and well-being.”

Four weight loss tips for dads

These simple weight control tips can help give fathers the best chance at living a long and healthy life:

  1. Cut calories, boost water intake:  Eliminating high calorie drinks, like sugary sodas and sport drinks, is a great way to cut calories from your diet. Our bodies interpret thirst as hunger, so drinking a full glass of water up to an hour before each meal may cut the number of calories you consume. Additionally, staying hydrated boosts energy and prevents cravings, minimizing your desire to eat unhealthy snacks between meals.
  2. Control your portions: You don’t have to give up all the foods you love. Try eating smaller portions at meal time and stock up on veggies. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber – they can help you feel full so you don’t overeat during your next meal. Two to three cups of vegetables are recommended per day.
  3. Get moving: Staying active is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Whether it’s walking,  riding a bike, lifting weights, get up and get moving! To maximize the effects of a strength training workout, consider eating a high protein snack following your workout to replenish and build your muscles. Getting enough protein is essential to building muscle—which in turn burns more calories throughout the day than fat.
  4. Go to bed five minutes earlier: A number of studies have linked a lack of sleep with overeating and weight gain. Experts recommend seven hours or more of sleep each night, and going to bed five minutes earlier each night can help you feel more rested and rejuvenated.

Preventive health checklist for men of all ages

Regular checkups can be potential lifesavers, especially if they catch potentially deadly conditions early when they’re easier to treat. But it can be challenging to keep track of all the preventive health measures we need to keep in mind. What preventative screenings should men have and how often? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and physicians recommend screenings and tests for men of all ages:

 Men ages 18 to 39:

  • Physical exam – Every few years. Talk to your provider about preventive screenings and vaccinations, lifestyle habits, and potential risk for future problems.
  • Blood pressure screening – Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years.
  • Diabetes screening (Blood glucose test) – Get screened for diabetes if you have high blood pressure.
  • Skin cancer screening –Talk to your doctor to see if he or she would recommend routine screenings and periodic total-body examinations.
  • Cholesterol screening –Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Begin screening as early as age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease.

Men in their 40s and 50s:

  • Prostate cancer – Talk to your doctor about whether you need a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen test.
  • Colorectal screening – Get tested. You may need to be screened earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer. The recommended screening schedules and benefits usually depend on the type of test used: colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or fecal occult blood testing.
  • Hepatitis C – Get screened, especially if born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Lung cancer – If you are 55 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, get a low-dose CT scan every year.

Men ages 60 and up:

  • Annual Wellness Visit – If eligible through Medicare, individuals ages 65 and up can tap into this free benefit that can open the door to other preventive services.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening – This is a recommended, one-time screening by ultrasound for men ages 65 to 75 years old who have ever smoked.