Fathers are a treasure. Fathers impact lives and can shape what children think is important in life. Dads lead, teach, protect, discipline and set forth strategies that enhance the welfare of daughters and sons. Here are some tools that can be utilized before, during and after Father’s Day for long-term life enhancement.
Make a Commitment to Your Health: The sad truth is that hypertension and other health risks have increased in men 20 years and older while at the same time rates of childhood obesity have skyrocketed. Are you ready to commit to making some healthful choices and set some goals for enhanced fitness? It can start by following simple steps toward wellness. For example, ‘I will visit my doctor routinely for various screenings.’ Or, ‘I will go walking with my kids twice a week.’ Remember, exercise and healthy eating can affect quality of life for a whole generation and beyond.
Try a Group Ride or Run: Have you run a 5K or gotten out in nature with your buddies on mountain bikes? You can start training now for a 5K to get you in shape for participation in a group run with friends or other dads. Visit active.com for events to sign up for in your area. Or ring up some father friends and go for a morning ride to burn calories so you can enjoy brunch guilt-free. One note, there is no need to overdo it when eating brunch, because your stomach is only the size of your palm.
Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat: Do you consume foods to increase vitamin, mineral and nutrient intake or just to satisfy cravings for comfort foods? Keep in mind, that food-related chronic diseases are more prevalent than ever, which is why “now” is the time to finally say “no thank you” to destructive eating habits. Be more proactive with your diet and your kid’s diets.
Begin swapping chips, cookies and sodas with fruits, veggies and smoothies. Plain popcorn with a few pinches of Himalayan sea salt and Vegit (no oil or butter) are great for replacing the crunch of potato chips. Cook more meals at home and reduce or even eliminate your fast food intake. Say “no” to white, enriched foods and “yes” to whole grains (for example brown rice or quinoa over white rice) and add more cruciferous green veggies like kale and asparagus to your plate. Please be sure to load up on sweet potatoes because the brain thrives on them. It can be a stretch for some at first, but well worth the effort in the long run for your whole family!
Activity – It’s a Family Affair: A few times a week enjoy at least one hour of energetic activities with your family such as soccer, volleyball, tennis or hiking in nature. State parks are ideal for being active while enjoying healthful doses of oxygen. Why not host a picnic ripe with delicious plant-based whole foods?
Become the Family Coach: It’s a great day when dad blows the whistle alerting his family to engage in physical fitness and enjoy smart food choices. Continue to motivate the family with daily exercise tips and try nutritious recipes. I enjoy cooking and love it when my wife or daughters request a veggie tofu stir fry or BBQ cauliflower wings. More importantly, I absolutely adore it when my youngest puts on her helmet and demands we go for a ride. That comes from years of silent coaching. Remember, when you lead by positive example your family may also be inspired. You’ve got this dads!