Solidarity Blog

6 Ways to Live Healthier This Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, as we honor the fathers and father figures in our lives, we invite you to learn what proactive steps fathers can take toward healthier and more fulfilling lives. Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, or depression, the health problems faced by men are best treated with a comprehensive approach. Thankfully, many men’s health challenges can be mitigated by awareness, preventative measures, and healthy lifestyle choices.

1. Be proactive about scheduling regular checkups.

By scheduling annual health checkups with your primary care physician, you can monitor your blood pressure and overall metabolic and cardiovascular health. The best part? Annual health checkups are eligible for sharing through Solidarity.

2. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to support your heart.

Following the Mediterranean diet is widely recognized as one of the best dietary habits for heart health. Research continues to confirm its benefits. A recent systematic review published in Nutrients Journal found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality. The review highlights that this diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, can significantly decrease the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular conditions both in healthy people and in individuals with prior cardiovascular diseases.1

The food is also delicious, especially when using fresh ingredients. You can find Mediterranean recipes at the Mediterranean Dish website.

3. Be active 2.5-5 hours per week.

Regular physical activity such as walking, jogging, or strength training can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.2 Recent studies show that walking just 4,000 steps per day can reduce the risk of dying from any cause and improve overall quality of life, while walking 2,300 steps a day can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. I recommend adults get 2.5-5 hours of light to moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week.

4. Schedule regular prostate screenings to detect any early signs of prostate issues.

This includes routine blood work screening for prostate health (PSA) with your primary care physician, which is eligible for sharing through Solidarity. You can support prostate health not only with a Mediterranean diet3 and exercise, but also by drinking coffee. Research indicates that men who drink six or more cups of caffeinated or decaf coffee daily have a nearly 20% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, and a 60% lower risk for aggressive forms. Even those who consume one to three cups daily experience a 30% reduction in the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.4

5. Prioritize mental health through prayer, gratitude, and exercise.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, mental health plays an essential role in influencing our overall wellbeing. To improve your mental health, try incorporating 15-30 minutes of prayer and meditation into each day, reflect on the things you are grateful for, and exercise daily. Spending time in prayer and gratitude helps us avoid regret about the past and fear of the future, allowing us to live fully in the present moment according to God’s plan. And regular exercise, such as 15-30 minutes of walking every day, has also been shown to boost mood and improve mental health – sometimes even more effectively than counseling.

6. Detect and manage diabetes through routine blood sugar testing, diet, and exercise.

Routine blood sugar testing is crucial for managing diabetes. Healthy blood sugar levels not only prevent diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, nerve or kidney damage, and bone and joint problems, but also can reduce body aches and boost energy, mental clarity, and healthy eyesight. Glucose control can also be improved by following a diet low in starchy carbohydrates and going on walks after meals. One other way to improve blood glucose levels is to take some apple cider vinegar before meals, which can slow glucose absorption.

Celebrating Health on Father’s Day

By focusing on key areas of men’s health and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, we hope to encourage dads to lead longer, healthier, and happier lives. This year, let’s make Father’s Day a reminder to cherish and support our fathers in every aspect, including their health.

  1. Laffond A, Rivera-Picón C, Rodríguez-Muñoz PM, Juárez-Vela R, Ruiz de Viñaspre-Hernández R, Navas-Echazarreta N, Sánchez-González JL. Mediterranean Diet for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: An Updated Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2023; 15(15):3356. ↩︎
  2. Posadzki, P., Pieper, D., Bajpai, R. et al. Exercise/physical activity and health outcomes: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews. BMC Public Health 20, 1724 (2020). ↩︎
  3. Varinderpal S. Dhillon, Permal Deo, Michael Fenech. Plasma Micronutrient Profile of Prostate Cancer Cases Is Altered Relative to Healthy Controls—Results of a Pilot Study in South Australia. Cancers, 2022; 15 (1): 77 DOI: 10.3390/cancers15010077 ↩︎
  4. Chen X, Zhao Y, Tao Z, Wang K. Coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2021 Jan 11;11(2):e038902. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038902. PMID: 33431520; PMCID: PMC7805365 ↩︎