Some super heroes don’t have capes… they are called Dad
Dads know a lot, but when it comes to looking after their health, there is more they could be doing!
Father’s Day is an occasion to celebrate and thank the dads and/or father figures in our lives. Just like mothers, fathers are important role models to their children. A favoured poem used by many young school children on Father’s Day depicts dads as indestructible. However, as adults, we know this is not the case. Fathers often neglect their own health, prioritising their family and professional responsibilities.
So, on this Father’s Day, we are sharing four health tips for dads to maintain a happier and healthier life and some motivational stories from special Lite n’ Easy dads who are doing just that!
It’s not rocket science! Having a healthy and nutritious diet plays an important role in your mental and physical wellbeing. A healthy diet and exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent the risk of chronic disease.
Some tips to help with this include:
- Up your veg! Veggies are good for you… like, really good! They’re chocked full of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They’re also really low Calorie! However, as good as they are, only 3% of Australian men eat enough vegetables on a daily basis (National Health Survey 2018).
- Go with the grain. Wholegrains are little nutritional powerhouses and have multiple health benefits. Choosing wholegrains can help reduce your risk of diabetes and lower your cholesterol. They’re also a great source of fibre which helps to feed your good gut bacteria and keep your weight in check by keeping you feeling full!
- Make fibre your friend. Fibre has been shown to reduce your risk of chronic diseases as well as certain types of cancers. People with a higher intake of fibre have a reduced risk of premature death from chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes. Fibre also plays an important role in gut health, but men today typically fall well short of the recommended intake of 30g per day.
- Protein, how much is enough? You’ve probably heard that protein is an essential nutrient in our diet. We need it for our muscles and it can help keep you feel fuller for longer. But, the amount of protein we need probably isn’t as high as you think. A palm-size serving of red meat or poultry or a cup of legumes provides more than enough protein for one meal for most people.
- Watch your portions! Being a man doesn’t automatically mean bigger portions than women. While men may have more muscle and therefore burn more energy at rest, total daily energy requirements vary from person to person. Remember it’s easy to go overboard with big portions, and portion creep is one of the main reasons for weight gain!
Exercise, physical activity, playing sport – whatever it looks like, just move!
Enjoying activity as part of your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated. And forming good exercise habits is the key.
- Start small! It’s easier to find the time and motivation when you start with small, achievable goals. Aim for 10 or even 5 minutes of movement to get your groove on. When you start with just 5 minutes, you may be inspired to do 5 more and you can gradually build from there.
- Then consistency is key. The more often we do something as part of our daily lives, the easier it becomes and the more likely it is to become a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, doing some sort of movement every day will be wired into your brain so that your day won’t feel complete without it.
- Find something you love to do! With endless options, make moving fun. Walking, gardening, jogging, biking, sport, playing with the kids, mowing the lawn – all are great forms of activity. If it’s fun, you’ll look forward to doing it.
- Buddy up, involving friends or family is a great way to help you stay motivated and keep each other accountable. Join your local fitness group and meet people who are on a similar journey as you. It will also help in keeping yourself accountable.
Research shows that 90% of Australians feel stressed at some stage – with 74% of people reporting being stressed from work. Stress is a part of life, and it can be a good thing. But too much stress can take a heavy toll on our wellbeing.
Recognising when we are under stress is not always easy, especially if that stress has developed over time and we are unaware of the effect it is having on us. Being aware of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress is an important first step in being able to identify stress and put into action some management strategies. Four powerful tips to looking after your physical and mental health every day include:
- Getting the giggle juices flowing
- Eating a nutritionally balanced diet full of whole foods
- Moving your body
Go to the Doctor
Men have an interesting relationship with their doctor. Research suggests that men respect their doctor’s knowledge and expertise, but are reluctant to expose themselves to it.
Possible reasons include:
- Reluctance for men to reveal ignorance or vulnerability (unmanly)
- Inefficiencies in medical practices (time wasting)
- Logistics (busy at work)
- Fear of tests or interventions (discomfort)
- An aversion to being told to improve their diet/weight/smoking/exercise or to cease activity that they enjoy.
The fact is, Australian men are more likely than Australian women to get sick from serious health problems and male mortality rates are also much higher. Therefore, an open and regular relationship with your GP is important for the early detection and treatment of most health conditions that effect men, including but not limited to, heart disease, dementia and alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer and diabetes.
How can Lite n’ Easy help?
Lite n’ Easy offers a variety of healthy meal plans on our chef-inspired seasonal menu, backed by expert dietitians. Enjoy the convenience of delicious, healthy meals delivered to your door.