How can I help my dad be healthy?

Step 2 is to figure out the limiting factor but we obviously need to start with step 1.

Step 1 ALWAYS is the vision. You need to spend time asking dad and searching and seeking for what his vision for his health and fitness is. What are his goals. Be specific and get the vision as clear as possible, the clearer the vision the better the strategy.

So now that you have step 1 out of the way the next thing is to find the limiting factor. Everyone has one. If you clearly know what you want to accomplish you then have to look at what is preventing or limiting that person from achieving their goals. What is your dad's limiting factor for reaching his goals, what is holding him back?

If you know the vision and then figure out what the limiting factor is then you can easily develop the appropriate strategy to fit the vision. At that point it is up to your dad to make the decision to follow through and see the strategy through. Sometimes the limiting factor is mental, sometimes it is physical, most of the time it is both.
Give your dad the gift of health with a variety of ways for him to lead a healthier lifestyle:
  • Encourage dad to join you for physical activities that you enjoy. Buy him a pair of in-line skates, a tennis racket or a new pair of running shoes. Set a schedule and hold him to it. It will give you time to bond, while keeping you both fit.
  • Does he already have the equipment but just needs some encouragement? Buy your father a bookrack for his treadmill so he can read while exercising; a lesson or two for his favorite activity, such as tennis or golf; an mp3 player to listen to music or news while he walks or jogs; and a pedometer to keep track of his steps.
  • What is dad reading these days? Encourage him to learn about his own health and nutrition with a subscription to a men's health or fitness magazine or a copy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Complete Food and Nutrition Guide or Dieting for Dummies.
  • Does dad often eat lunch on the run or not at all? Give the gift of meals by making dad a lunch every day for a week or even a month. Build it around lean protein and dairy foods, whole-grain breads and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Pack lunch in an easy-to-carry container and write a note telling him how special he is to you. Include a detailed list of the items you made, so he can do it himself again).
Be creative. Your father deserves it, and it will mean a lot to him that you are thinking about his health and longevity.
Depending upon your dad's age, you can do several things to help him be healthy. Encourage him to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and participate in exercise. It's also important for him to see his primary care provider and follow recommendations for preventive health screenings. Help your father engage in relaxing or fun activities to decrease overall stress.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.