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Men's Health Care

Master the Art of Dad Parking and Sneak More Steps into Your Day

The worst, furthest-away parking spot is actually the best one — if you have your mental health in mind, that is!

We’ve all heard of Park ‘n’ Fly and Park ‘n’ Ride, but what about Park ‘n’ Walk? 

With a nod to dads who love parking far away, the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is encouraging all men to park like a dad, guilt-free, this June. Appearing on a parking lot sign near you, “Park like a dad and snag the worst spot, for the best mental health” will conjure up memories of the long-distance parker in your life, who now has one more reason to justify the behaviour as a healthy habit. 

The benefits of extra movement

Dad parking is the theme of a month-long campaign by the CMHF called Move for Your Mental Health. Adding more movement to your day with physical activity triggers feel-good endorphins while reducing stress, anxiety, and mild-to-moderate depression. The bottom line is that any extra movement counts toward improving your health.

New data from TELUS Health’s Mental Health IndexTM shows that 8 out of 10 Canadian men believe physical activity has a positive effect on their mental health. Despite knowing the benefits, however, the latest Adult Report Card on physical activity tells us that 88 per cent of adults are too sedentary.

Adding beneficial extra steps to your daily routine is a simple way to move more. A Harvard study of 11,000 men found that walking five city blocks a day can lower the risk of heart attack by 25 per cent. Up that to an hour a day, five days a week, and the risk of stroke is reduced by half. 

More reasons to move

If you’ve already mastered the art of dad parking, there are still plenty of ways to increase your daily step count. At work, walking meetings are one of the simplest methods to collaborate while counting steps. For the more adventurous, discreet treadmills are replacing chairs, energizing meetings and leaving participants breathlessly productive. The more traditional can enjoy a lunchtime stroll to a nearby park.

At home, there are even more reasons to move. Research has found that walking after dinner is particularly beneficial, helping to lower your blood sugar, speed digestion, and aid in fat loss. Trade in the minivan for walking shoes when it’s time to take the kids to school or activities. You’ll share the benefits of movement and gain extra time together.  

Learn more about how to add movement in your day at and join CMHF National Champions by sharing your #ParkLikeADad stories of the worst parking spots for the best mental health. 

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