This past Sunday was Father’s day and every month of June is men’s health month. This is a great opportunity to recognise men all over the globe especially fathers in our lives but it is also a reminder of the many health challenges our fathers out there face. These include family responsibilities, lower life expectancy, and lower likelihood of visits to the doctor and higher risk of being overweight or obese.

ARE THERE SOME WELLNESS TIPS FATHERS SHOULD CONSIDER? Yes, fathers should consider the following tips for their healthy well-being.

PREVENTION IS IMPORTANT: Men are three-times as likely as women to go a year without visiting the doctor and nearly twice as likely to be without a regular go-to doctor in times of sickness or health related issues. To reverse these trends, now is the time to schedule an annual wellness visit with your primary care physician. Take charge of your health and detect any potential health issues or diseases as early as possible.

REDUCE THE RISK: The medical journal recently published a study showing that men take more senseless risks than women, causing unfortunate consequences for themselves. Take for instance, men are more likely to be addicted to alcohol and tobacco than women. Also, men are twice as likely as women to indulge in heavy drinking and men are 80 percent more likely to misuse drugs than women. All these lifestyles should be cut down and put to check in order to maintain healthy living as a father.

GET COMPETITIVE IN A HEALTHY WAY: Men who take fewer risks and channel their competitive spirit in a healthy way can enhance their well-being and quality of life. One strategy is to pair up with a workout partner, someone who can hold you accountable and encourage you to achieve your wellness goals. To help maintain overall health, it’s important for men to compete with themselves and set realistic, specific, exercise and diet goals.

REMEMBER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: Numerous studies show that men are less likely than women to seek help, particularly for depression and other behavioral health issues. One potential barrier is some men might be embarrassed to ask for this type of assistance.

To help with that, men can consider a virtual visit with a mental health provider via a mobile device or computer. Virtual care can shorten wait times for an appointment, fit work and personal schedules and eliminate travel time and expense. And, research shows that outcomes of a virtual visit with a mental health provider may be similar to in-person sessions for multiple disorders.

Finally, following these tips may benefit fathers or men and their families for years to come. And by better understanding men’s unique health challenges, we can help our fathers or husbands live happy and healthier lives.

Happy Father’s Day, from Oduigwe Chidera Dok.

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