guys need, but it’s a positive start. Here are a
few other easy gi; ideas. ;ese gi;s are even
more thoughtful if you can do these activities
with your loved ones.
• An exercise machine (check with
a physician before starting).
• Smoking cessation class.
• Activity tracker, for counting steps.
• Croquet set for the backyard.
For Father’s Day:
By Judith L. Kanne
The Costco Connection
Costco pharmacies offer heart, cholesterol,
osteoporosis and diabetes screenings. For
dates and listings, go to Costco.com and
search “health fairs.” Costco members will
also find exercise equipment, bicycles,
gym memberships and more at Costco
and on Costco.com.
Field of screens
HERE’S A SAMPLING of screening tests that
men might benefit from.
Cholesterol. Begin screening at 35, but
start at 20 if you use tobacco; are overweight
or obese; have diabetes, high blood pressure
or a history of heart disease or blocked arteries; or have family members who had heart
attacks before age 50.
Colon cancer. Get screened at age 50,
but a family history of colorectal cancer could
mean earlier screenings.
Diabetes. Get screened for diabetes (high
blood sugar), especially if you take meds for
high blood pressure.
Hepatitis C virus. Screening is recom-
for your health
HETHER IT’S FOR your
dad, grandpa or big brother,
make this year’s Father’s Day
gi; one that could help keep
him in good health.
“[Helping men establish] a good relation-
ship with a primary care doctor is a smart ;rst
step,” says Costco member Dr. Will Harper,
an internist at the University of Chicago
Medicine. “Especially if it’s been awhile.”
Another smart place to start is looking at
healthy habits for the heart. Heart disease
remains the leading cause of death in the U.S.,
according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. One of the best gi;s you can
o;er to your loved one is exercise—even if it
seems hard to ;nd adequate time. Something
as simple as a brisk walk can help the heart.
“;e American Heart Association [AHA]
recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise
every week: just 30 minutes of activity, such as
walking, on ;ve out of the seven days,” explains
Harper. “Your risk of many diseases drops
when you do.”
“As a cardiologist, I tell patients exercise is
a lifelong habit,” says Dr. Jarett Berry, a pre-
ventive cardiologist at UT Southwestern
Medical Center. “But as a father of ;ve, I can
empathize when patients tell me, ‘It’s just so
hard to ;nd the time.’ ”
He continues, “I faced the same question
my patients faced: ;tting exercise into my
busy schedule.” His family’s solution: triath-
lons, competitions that combine swimming,
running and bicycling.
“;e next time I tell a patient that serious
exercise across a lifetime can substantially
reduce the risk of heart disease, I can say
there’s always a way, because even my wife
and I were able to come up with a plan that
works,” says Berry.
Making the decision
With Father’s Day around the corner, gi;
certi;cates for a nearby gym may not be all
mended if you were born between 1945 and
1965, or if you used injected drugs, or if you
received a blood transfusion before 1992.
High blood pressure. Check your blood
pressure at least every two years.
HIV. If you are 65 or younger, get an HIV
Lung cancer. Get a screening if you are
between 55 and 80, have a 30-packs-per-year
smoking history, smoke now or quit within
the last 15 years.
Overweight and obese. Know your
body mass index: 18. 5 to 25 indicates a
normal weight; 30 or higher may mean
• Running or walking shoes.
• Gift cards for bowling.
• Road or mountain bike.
• A weekend in a local, state or
• Sunscreen for sunny summer months.
• Sunglasses with UV protection.
Visiting a doctor
Another important step is screenings for
men. Blood pressure and blood cholesterol
checks are two examples of easy and important screenings. ;ese help look for problems
before they occur (see “Field of screens”).
This year, consider better health as a
Father’s Day gi; to the men you love. C
Costco member Judith L. Kanne is a registered
nurse and independent journalist in Atlanta.