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Men, need to talk to each other more.
That’s my friend Phil in that picture. He came to visit from Idaho recently and we spend the weekend seeing concerts, having beers, taking pictures in the mountains – and talking. About family, about life, about careers, about our physical and mental health. The conversations were rich and flowing and personal. And rare.
The greatest thing I’ve found from the community of men I have connected with on Facebook is the candid conversations we have around health. Sure, I love talking sports, bitching about work/life/politics too, but the conversations around health are the most genuine and inspiring.
Guys in the groups share their mental health struggles, their cancer diagnoses, their checkups, their goals. I don’t often have these kinds of conversations face-to-face, but in these community groups they happen regularly. And that kind of comfort led to Phil and I carrying those online conversations into our real life interaction.
Because of the men in that group, I get checked. I recently had my blood work done. I am reminded to look after my mental health. We’re typing into a screen, but we’re talking – and that’s conversation that needs to go beyond the computer screen and stretch into real life, talking with fathers, brothers, grandfathers and uncles about family history and hereditary risks. Issues such as prostate cancer, infertility and low testosterone are often hereditary, and knowing your risks can help with early detection.
A new survey found that four out of five men have never talked to a family member about health. “When it comes to health issues, guys tend to think, ‘I’ll just ignore it, and it’ll go away, or it’ll get better,’” said Dr. Parekattil, a urologist at Orlando Health. “But that can lead to serious health consequences. Seeing your doctor and taking preventative measures can save your life.”
This Father’s Day, the best gift you can give your dad is to have an honest conversation about not only the things that can affect your health, but also the things he could do to take better care of his health.
One of the best ways to spend time with your dad is by getting active together. Suggest a weekly walk with your dad if you live in the same area, or if distance prohibits, start a friendly online competition of who can walk more steps, or log more hours outside. While it might be challenging at first, they will thank you for it later; consistent exercise and activity can help you maintain your strength and agility, while also improving vitality and sleep, and can even help diminish chronic pain – truly a win-win! Just make sure to start slow, and build up over time so as to avoid injury!
Address pain before it slows Dad down
Nothing can slow a dad down quite like those nagging aches and pains. If they are getting in the way for your dad, get him to ask his pharmacist about ALEVE to manage pain. ALEVE offers up to 12 hours of relief letting him get back to doing what he loves. Plus, with the easy-open arthritis cap, he’ll get relief fast – it gives him the relief to be him, for up to 12 hours.
Get his daily greens
Does your dad shun all foods that aren’t meats or carbs? With the beautiful seasonal produce available all summer, there are myriad options to brighten up his meals. Suggest a few recipes, or show him how he can grill some veggies and lighten up his meals. This grilled veggie recipe is dead easy.
Have a difficult conversation
Talk to your dad about the signs of a heart attack and what to do if he may suffer from one. First, he should call 911 immediately, then chew or crush two ASPIRIN 81mg tablets. It’s not an easy thought or conversation to have, but being prepared may save his life.
You know what? These are also great conversations to have with your peers. Men need to talk to each other about health more. You can encourage a buddy to eat greens, you can get active together, we just need to break down the stigma, educate, and support each other.
Taking the time this Father’s Day to talk to your Dad about living well is truly the best gift you can give.