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Forget barbecues, high-tech gadgets and ties. If you still haven’t decided what to get your dad for Father’s Day, how about a gift to help keep him around a while.
Let’s face it. Getting healthy, staying healthy and preventing illness just aren’t the priorities they should be for many men. So, rather than another set of golf clubs or another pair of pajamas, why not give him a “health” gift?
“If he hasn’t had a recent checkup, get him an appointment with a primary care physician,” suggested Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Md. “It’s better than a tie, certainly better than a power tool.”
If you can’t get him to visit the doctor, try giving him a blood pressure monitor, calculate his BMI (body mass index) for him, get his cholesterol checked, or convince him to get a colonoscopy.
“Too many men ignore their health until a woman or partner brings it up,” said Dr. Jackie.
Research shows men drink more than women, smoke more than women, and engage in more high-risk activities than women, don't live as long as women, but they are less likely than women to visit a doctor.
So Father’s Day is the perfect day to press the issue, and the perfect opportunity to give gifts that express your love and appreciation. If he doesn’t need a BP monitor or his BMI calculated, Dr. Jackie suggests you consider giving him a gym membership to get him moving, some vitamins with “D” to help prevent prostate cancer, or a bottle of non-alcoholic wine to help wean him off the real thing.
And while the relationship between fatherhood and health is still being studied, there is evidence that being a daddy can be good for your health.
“Men who are actively involved in their children’s lives live longer, healthier lives because they have that motivation to make health changes, to be there for the long run,” said Dr. Jackie. "The point is ... he needs to be reminded that he’s loved and he needs to know how important his life is to you."