It’s that time of year where we take some time to dote on our dads. We’re talking about Father’s Day of course!

This year, Father’s Day falls at the end of Men’s Health Week in Canada, which runs from June 15 to June 21. This event started in 2014 and honours the importance of men’s health and wellness. Studies have found that around 75% of Canadian men are unhealthy or borderline unhealthy, while 70% of the chronic diseases Canadian men face could be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

Dads give us so much guidance so it’s important to give that guidance back to help them stay healthy and live a fulfilling life for years to come. Why not make Father’s Day the starting point for some new, healthy habits? We’ve got some tips for how you can celebrate your dad while keeping him on the right track for wellness this Father’s Day and throughout the year.

Do a Fun and Healthy Activity
Physical activity is one aspect of staying healthy, so suggest going for a hike. It’s fun and can give you some great physical exercise without feeling like you’re actually “working out”. Not near a trail? Hop on some bikes and take a ride through the city. Make a whole day of it and start to think of different places you’d like to explore with your bike in the future as a family. Even a walk is something that the whole family can do to get some exercise while spending time together. All of these are activities you can do while social distancing if needed as well.

Make Time for Hanging Out with Family
Beyond just being physically active, spending time together is important for mental health. For a long time, the stigma around mental health was a barrier to talking openly about feelings and mental health. It’s often seen as a weakness or that they’re not “real men”. But just because they don’t talk about it doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with mental health challenges - over one million Canadian men suffer from major depression. Now that’s something that should be talked about!

So, for Father’s Day, check-in with your Dad and see how he’s doing. Start small - it doesn’t have to be a deep therapy session, but even making sure you have quality time to talk can make a big difference. This can open up more conversations beyond Father’s Day. Make sure you make plenty of time for family whether it’s a Zoom call, by telephone or in-person.

Make A Healthy Father’s Day Meal
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner – try making dad a healthy meal for Father’s Day.

If Dad balks at healthy options, challenge yourself to make a healthy version of his favourite meal. Treat him to a great breakfast with wholegrain pancakes and berries or a delicious smoothie and oatmeal. For dinner, head outside for a healthy BBQ with lots of veggies and lean meat. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it can’t taste great. Keep experimenting with healthy twists on his go-to favourites throughout the year. You may just find a new favourite!

Schedule Exams and Checkups
This may sound like something really small but it makes a big difference. If you don’t go to the doctor, then you’re not going to know if you have certain health issues such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Men often neglect these appointments which can have a big impact on their health.

This doesn’t have to be “the gift” you get your dad for Father’s Day, but it can be a great annual reminder to make sure that he’s getting regular checkups.

Gift Ideas to Keep Him Active
Besides the food and activity, what Dad doesn’t love a physical gift? This is where you can really step up your game to help dad stay active and healthy. Here are a few suggestions for healthy gifts for Father’s Day.

Walking poles
Walking poles not only improve your balance and help take some stress off your back when you’re walking, but they also offer a better workout. You’re getting the benefit of a walk and the poles work out your arms, shoulders, chest and upper back.

Walking or Running Shoes
Nothing makes more of a difference in how you walk or run than a good pair of walking or running shoes. Treat your dad to a nice pair and it might motivate him to get out more.

Fitness Tracker
There are a hundred different names for these and just as many brands, but these little devices are great for wellness. Depending on the one you choose, it can track your steps, heart rate, calorie consumption and more. It can be paired with your smart device and some can even be worn as a watch. And we all know how much dad’s love gadgets.

Yoga Classes
This may not seem like a dad activity but if you buy it for him he almost has to go! Offer to go with him if you think it will help him hit the mat. Yoga is great for getting an always important stretch in. It’s a great way to stay tuned to your body and let dad focus on himself for an hour.

Dads are awesome and often take so much time helping their family that they don’t leave time to help themselves. Let’s help our dads feel great and of course, special, this Father’s Day, by looking out for their health.