So I asked for some advice recently on what to write about from the amazing women who make up Reno Mom’s Blog, and we came up with discussing some health tips on how to keep dad healthy, just in time for Father’s Day! Because everyone knows, married men live longer!
Now, of course I am a little biased, but people should see their primary care provider (PCP) every year for a routine check-up “annual exam”, not just when they are sick! Guidelines and recommendations for screening for things like high cholesterol and vaccinations are constantly changing in the world we live in today, so it’s a good idea to check in with your PCP to make sure you’re up to date on everything…. Plus, as part of Obamacare, it’s mandated for insurance to cover routine health maintenance provisions 100%, so there really is no excuse not to! So here are some things we recommend for dads to keep in tip-top health!
- Get his cholesterol checked! The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) is the major source we use to determine when certain tests should be done based on the medical evidence available. Men between the ages of 20-35 who have risk factors for heart disease (ie, family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, smokers) and all men over 35 should have their cholesterol checked as well.
- Get his prostate checked! Men with an “average” risk- meaning no family history of prostate cancer, start this at 50, with either a digital rectal exam (no complaining allowed guys- women endure far more with our pelvic exams!) plus or minus a blood test, which are important things to discuss with your doctor. Just something to know- African American men should have this talk with their healthcare provider a little earlier, as there is a higher chance at a younger age for them, usually starting between 40-45
- Get his blood pressure checked! This one is easy, most grocery stores have blood pressure cuffs in their pharmacy section, or most doctor offices will let you come in for a nurse visit to have it checked with a manual cuff too (no copay). This one is super important because high blood pressure truly is the silent killer, and harms multiple organs when it’s high and untreated for prolonged periods. Goal for most healthy men is under 140/90.
- Get his sweat on! Important especially in our world today, it’s hard with our crazy busy lives, but setting a goal of 30 mins of exercise 5 days per week will help keep dad’s heart in good shape.
- Get his shots! If he hasn’t had a TDaP in his lifetime, he should get one to protect him from pertussis mainly, since we now know immunity doesn’t last a lifetime as we used to think, and of course this protects him from tetanus and diphtheria as well. He should also get a flu shot every year, to protect not only himself but also your family from influenza. He should also talk to his PCP about whether or not he needs a pneumonia vaccine based on his risks.
Hope these are helpful tips! Stay tuned- next month, how to keep mom healthy!