Being a good father means also practicing good health. As a physician, I come in contact with patients each day that present a variety of illnesses; some of them are unavoidable but many are. After practicing medicine for some time, I have come to respect the value of good health and how easily it can be taken for granted. As a husband and father of two children, I made the decision a long time ago that being a good father means also practicing good health!
Studies have proven over and over the benefit of nutrition. Low fat, low sugar and fresh foods provide the best source of vitamins and minerals needed to make our body’s work. Children can learn at a young age what is healthy and what is not. Start by giving them good habits and helping them make good choices.
The value of exercise is extremely important for our well being. Not only does it keep our metabolism moving, but it improves our general health and mood. Not everyone can run a marathon, but starting with a small 15-minute routine a few times a week with whatever you are comfortable with can go a long way.
AVOID THE OBVIOUS
Smoking rates are still way too high, especially among teenagers. Many fall prey to peer pressure but children also imitate what they see at home. And while they may think they look sophisticated, they are causing damage to their bodies that cannot be reversed. Educate your children about the dangers of smoking and teach by example.
If you are a smoker, investigate programs and measures that will assist you in your efforts to quit. There’s no better time than now, dads.
FOCUS ON WELLNESS
Be a role model for your children with respect to nutrition. Encourage sports activities that can be enjoyed by many family members like tennis, soccer, hiking or bike riding. Make that after-dinner walk with your spouse more romantic by holding hands. Reduce your stress by giving yourself a vacation from e-mails and the cell phone a few hours each weekend. Be sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Purchase comfortable bedding, but not a television. Nothing can replace a good night’s sleep. By honoring good health practices during out lifetimes, we can give our families the gift of being with them for a very long time, and that is the BEST gift you can give anyone.
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