TOMS RIVER – This Father’s Day, give dad some tips to improve his life by healthy habits and healthy choices.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the gift ideas people may have had for Father’s Day just didn’t pan out the way they hoped. Indoor dining options won’t work; tickets to the ballgame or concert are out; so maybe aim for something a little different this year.
One suggestion is to try and encourage all the dads in your life to make their health a top priority and that they don’t have to do it alone.
“National Men’s Health Week always comes the week before Father’s Day and for good reason,” explained Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.
“It’s a good time for us all to remind not only the fathers – but the husbands, brothers, sons or friends in our life to seriously think about living a healthier lifestyle and making healthy choices. We want our dads and grandfathers to live longer happier lives and you can help by giving them the motivation and support they need to make better decisions regarding their health,” Little said.
“Men are living longer lives today than they were in the past and some of the key reasons are that more men are taking better care of themselves through exercise, healthier eating habits and less men are smoking and using tobacco products,” explained Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer.
Regenye added, “we certainly want that trend to continue by spreading the important message about men’s health and the different options available to help them lead a healthier lifestyle.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips you can share with men and dads this Father’s Day.
Set an Example with Healthy Habits
• Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
• Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
• Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke – which causes health problems.
• Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension is often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious.
Remind Men to Get Regular Checkups
Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history.
• Men can prepare for doctor’s visits. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
• It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:
• Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
• Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
• Shortness of breath
Encourage Men to Seek Help for Depression
Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.
• Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, and feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
• Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible. If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety, stress and depression for many men,” They may have lost their employment; dealing with financial concerns; worrying about family health or any variety of reasons,” Regenye added.
Regenye said, “these are very challenging times and many men might feel they have to hide their problems or emotions because they don’t want their families to worry. Don’t let them slip into a depression and encourage them to seek professional help.”
For more information regarding men’s health visit CDC.org or the OCHD website at ochd.org. Information on COVID-19, the OCHD is providing a general Information Call Hot Line for residents and clinicians to answer questions regarding the coronavirus. The number is 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.
The NJDOH (NJPIES) hotline is available for questions around the clock at 1-800-222-1222 or by dialing 2-1-1. Other related sources; for medical COVID-19 questions call 1-800-962-1253 (24/7) or Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.