On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness information for all Oklahomans, published three times a week.

Being a Good Father Is Good for Your Health

06/14/2017

Posted in

It’s no secret that good fathers have a positive impact on the lives of their children. According to The Fatherhood Project, “Children who feel a closeness to their father are twice as likely to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75 percent less likely to have a teen birth, 80 percent less likely to spend time in jail and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms.”
closeness-to-fathers-stat
However, being a good father isn’t just good for your kids—fathers also reap health benefits from being engaged and active parents.

Health Benefits of Fatherhood

  1. Kids are a motivation to be healthy. We all want to raise our kids to be happy and healthy. Often, the desire to be a good role model is enough motivation to eat healthier and exercise regularly. If you’re trying to instill healthy habits in your children, you will naturally find yourself playing more with your kids and cooking more healthy meals at home. On the flip side, kids can force you to create some “me time,” and the gym can provide a healthy escape from the chaos of being a dad.
  2. Children demand a more active lifestyle. Kids have so much energy and love to play. If your lifestyle before kids involved a lot of sitting on the couch, expect to change gears. Kids have a tendency to get you up and outside, wrestling on the living room floor, and running around the park. While playtime may not seem like an intense workout, daily activity gets you up and moving, which burns calories throughout the day.
  3. Children give dads a sense of purpose. The health benefits of fatherhood are not all physical. Starting a family gives men a heightened sense of purpose. "Fatherhood comes with a lot of great health perks. Not only does it inspire men to take better care of themselves physically, but it also fills them with a sense of purpose that genuinely enhances their psychological well-being,” says Marcus Goldman, M.D., author of “The Joy of Fatherhood: The First Twelve Months.”
  4. Being a good dad boosts self-esteem. Positive family relationships are proven to boost self-esteem. Men who have strong relationships with their spouse and children tend to have higher self-esteem, which can also benefit a man’s work performance and marital stability. High self-esteem is negatively correlated with symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
  5. Kids help alleviate stress, sometimes. Kids can be stressful, as all parents know. However, kids also provide a release from adult stresses, like tight deadlines at work and paying your mortgage. Children bring innocence, imagination and silliness to your life, which can actually lighten the burden of adulthood and alleviate symptoms of stress. “Dads who have good relationships with their children are less likely to suffer from chest pain, insomnia, fatigue, indigestion and dizziness,” says psychologist Rosalind Barnett, Ph.D.

father-carrying-child-on-shoulders

2017 Father’s Day Events in OKC

Looking for a fun and healthy way to celebrate Father’s Day with Dad? Check out these active Oklahoma City events taking place this Father’s Day weekend.

Miles4Smiles Bike Ride

Miles4Smiles Saturday, June 17 | 7 a.m. Cost: $25-55 Miles4Smiles benefits the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, a non-profit that provides private, residential childcare for children in need, free of charge. You can participate in a 10-, 27-, 44-, or 56-mile bike ride, or help out by volunteering. Registration begins at 6 a.m. on the day of the event. “Baptist Children’s Home, OKC is excited to hold our seventeenth annual Miles4Smiles bike ride,” Baptist Children’s Home Oklahoma City Administrator, Scott Conrad says. “This community outreach has grown to more than 500 in attendance annually with riders raving: ‘Exceptional route support’, ‘Best food of any ride’, and ‘Very well organized.’ Your participation helps support birthday cheer, so we are able to provide joy, laughter, cheer and gifts, creating positive memories for the children and families in our care.”

Equality Run

Saturday, June 17 | 7:30 – 11 a.m. Cost: $20-45 The Equality Run includes a 5k and 10k, starting at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Participants will run through downtown OKC and along the scenic river trail.

Father’s Fun Run

fathers-day-run-2016 Saturday, June 17 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cost: $10-15 Enjoy a walk or run around the Myriad Botanical Gardens with Dad. Other activities include a watermelon-eating contest, sack races, 100-yard dash, and three-legged races. A BBQ lunch is also available for $10 per person. “We love that fathers and their children come to celebrate Father’s Day at the Gardens with us,” says Ashley Elkins, who is the Myriad Gardens Director of Festivals and Events. “This has become a tradition over the past two years, and we hope it only continues to grow and get better. Give your dad the gift of quality time this year and come join us for a run, good food and some healthy competition.”

Daddy Daughter Dance

Saturday, June 17 | 6 - 8 p.m. Cost: $10-15 Dancing, cookies, punch and more provided for dads and daughters, ages four to 14. This event is hosted by the City of Moore. Being engaged and active in your children’s lives is not only good for your kids; it’s good for you, too! Father’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate the fathers in your life with some quality time outside. Get out there and start a new healthy Father’s Day tradition this year.

Subscribe to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog

Subscribe for weekly emails full of useful and interesting Oklahoma-centric health and wellness info, from the doctors and health experts at INTEGRIS.