For father's day, make sure dad's healthy
HOUSTON Men just don't like to go to the doctor. "They're afraid, they're embarrassed," said Dr. Sebastian Scobercea with the Kelsey-Seybold Kingwood Clinic. So they don't go. "Why go if I feel fine? So therefore, they go years between appointments," Dr. Scobercea said. Here's why wives and kids need to get dad to the doctor -- to check dad's blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes risk and to do basic cancer screenings like skin, prostate and colon. So how do you get dad there? "Most of the time she has to make the appointment and just tell him to go," Dr. Scobercea said. Say dad's blood pressure is high. Before recommending medicine, Dr. Scobercea says dads can simply cut the salt and the caffeine. "Do they drink too much caffeine, caffeine can raise blood pressure -- alcohol," he said. Yes, he says more than two alcoholic drinks a day can raise blood pressure. "There's nothing wrong with a can of beer. The problem is when it turns to a pack of beer every day," Dr. Scobercea said. Reducing stress is a huge health issue for dads. And stress leads to heart disease. So dads need to learn to decompress. "Have some quiet time; come home, don't turn on the TV. Talk to your wife talk to your kids," Dr. Scobercea said. "Some of my best conversations with my kids is when I get them outside and there's nothing for them to do but walk with me and they have to talk with me." They're simple lifestyle changes that can keep a dad healthy and bring a family together. And lifestyle changes are always cheaper than medicine. And finally be nice to dad. "Be patient with us we're a hard lot to deal with all the pressures on us," Dr. Scobercea said. And dads, if you think it's too late to try to get back in shape, listen to this: men in their 60's and 70's who do regular strength training have muscles that perform as well as inactive men in their 20's and 30's! So there's always hope.