Being a dad is an important job, but it’s not always an easy one. In addition to all of the other responsibilities that you might have on your plate, you’re responsible for taking care of your kids and your family — which can be overwhelming even on the best of days.
So, it’s no wonder that parents tend to put their own health and well-being on the back burner.
However, it’s actually more important now than ever to stay healthy, both for yourself and for your kids. Not only does it ensure that you can take care of them the best you can, but it also sets a good example for their own approach to health and wellness, and it allows you the best chance to share a longer lifetime with them.
The following are some key areas that all dads should be paying attention to.
A good night’s sleep isn’t always easy to come by, especially if you’re a dad with younger children. However, finding ways to increase your sleep quality is crucial because bad sleep is linked to health issues like anxiety, depression, and even an increased risk for chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. What’s worse, poor sleep quality also seems to be linked to other issues like erectile dysfunction, lower urinary tract problems, and hormone production in men.
If you want to make sure that you’re at your best for your kids, you should find ways to make sleep a top priority! If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep consistently, try sticking to a regular bedtime as much as possible to get your body and mind used to the routine. It’s also a good idea to limit your screen time in the hours leading up to your bedtime and to avoid exercising or consuming caffeine later in the day. All of these habits can interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythms, making it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Being a dad can be stressful, especially when you’re also balancing other responsibilities at the same time. However, finding ways to better manage your stress is crucial if you want to protect your physical and mental health. Chronic stress can have a huge impact on your health and well-being, with consequences ranging from mental health issues to heart disease and diabetes.
To better manage your stress even in the most high-pressure times, find productive and healthy outlets to turn to when things get overwhelming. Give yourself a little bit of time to pursue your own interests and hobbies, exercise regularly, and take the time to be social with your friends, family, and other parents in your support system. It can feel easier said than done when you have so much on your plate, but prioritizing those little pockets of time can pay off in a big way for yourself and your kids down the line. And remember, it’s ok to ask for outside help if you need it.
Exercise and physical activity are big pieces of the puzzle when you want to maintain your health as a dad. Not only does it allow you to improve your general fitness, but it also comes in handy when you’re playing with your kids and keeping up with their many pursuits.
Make sure to carve out time in your schedule to work on increasing your movement and exercising. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and two days of strength training each week.
Eating a healthy diet is obviously good for your health, and it’s the perfect way to set a good example and give your kids an idea of how to healthily fuel their bodies for the rest of their lives!
Prioritize eating a diet that is balanced and made primarily with whole foods for the best nutrient density. In addition, limit your consumption of processed, packaged foods when you can. Home-cooking is a great opportunity to involve your kids in the kitchen and show them how to create fantastic and delicious meals and snacks out of fresh ingredients.
While a nutritious diet is a high priority, food alone might not always provide you with all the nutrients you need. So, in addition to following a healthy and balanced diet, it might also be a good idea to take supplements that can help you bridge any nutritional needs you might have.
For the best results, look specifically for Men’s Health supplements that are enriched with male-support factors and can properly support your body in its needs. In addition, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a dietary supplement to identify which nutrients you would benefit most from adding to your diet.
We tend to think about health in terms of physical health, but it’s just as important to consider your mental health. Taking care of your mental health is especially important because it can inadvertently affect your child’s mental health. A population-based study in the United States found that children with fathers who had poor mental health were also 2.6 times more likely to have mental health issues themselves.
To better manage your mental health, start by prioritizing your sleep, stress levels, and physical health by exercising frequently and eating a healthy diet. It’s also a good idea to learn more about your own mental health needs and recognize when it’s time to talk to a professional, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.
Finally, it becomes even more important to check in regularly with your healthcare provider when you become a dad. Even if you don’t necessarily think that you have any current health issues, these yearly physicals are crucial for identifying any potential areas of concern and preventing complications from longer-term issues. It’s also a good time to talk to your doctor about any concerns that you have on your end.
If you’re a dad, you have more to think about than your own well-being – you also have your family to consider. By taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle as a dad, you’ll be setting a good example and putting your health at the forefront, which can have a positive ripple effect on everyone who depends on you for care and guidance.