Keeping Dad Healthy

Dadbiking

Keeping Dad healthy is a family affair.

June is National Men’s Health Month, and after we’ve celebrated the fantastic Dads in our lives, we’re reminded that their presence and health certainly isn’t something that can be taken for granted.

Although fitness and well-being is highly regarded for Dads who are service members, it’s not always easy to maintain, as the military lifestyle is notoriously hectic.

We know it’s complicated – after all, losing your kitchen for months during a PCS, hectic schedules, odd hours, varied food preferences, poor habits and other roadblocks can all work together to derail any well-intentioned plan to stay healthy. But it’s certainly not impossible! Getting the whole family in on supporting Dad will pay off in the long run.

Fortunately for men serving in the military, it’s difficult to forgo physicals and they must maintain a certain degree of healthfulness. However, the family still can get in on the action. Here are some strategies the whole family can participate in. They’re designed to bring the family together all while supporting a healthy lifestyle for Dad (and all the other important men in your life):

  1.  Build activities around your meal times. There are many ways to accomplish this, but you could try gathering whatever family is available at mealtimes on nice days and picnic. This strategy works in two ways: you can make sure everyone walks, bikes or jogs to your picnic location and you can pack food ahead of time. Everyone will arrive hungry, and ready to eat a healthy, prepared meal.
  2. Visit a farmers’ market. Involving family members in the shopping process, especially if you start teaching children at an early age, can help to build a stronger appreciation for ingredients and possibly cut down on pickiness. If you can manage to convince everyone to help with recipes and meal planning, they’re less likely to refuse what’s for dinner and ask for junk food. And nothing makes pizza more tempting than kids begging Dad for a splurge.
  3. Take a family trip to a farm. Picking seasonal produce can be a fun way to spend a day and you get to bring healthy food home.
  4. Depending on the dynamic in your family, a little healthy competition may go a long way. If health is a shared goal, you could start a friendly pool or come up with a way for everyone to celebrate, like a family day trip, if everyone meets their goals.
  5. The best idea: Spend time together and be sure to eat together whenever you can. Health should be a continuing family discussion and family meals are a great place to enforce healthy eating for all members of the family.

 

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