Friday, December 26, 2014

6 gifts for your father, who needs to get healthy

You’re getting older, and so is your father. This is a scary thing to confront—you’re barreling into adulthood and attending so many friends’ weddings that you feel like you actually live in a Marriott, while your father is casually mentioning things to you like a diabetes diagnosis or aches and pains that won’t go away. You’re both standing at a precipice, and you both need to embrace that you’re getting older and make changes about your life.

You need to get your career in order, figure out what you really want to do, join Match.com so you’re not alone forever, and maybe stop drinking 45 beers on a Friday night.

Your father needs to realize that he’s not 30 anymore and own up to the fact that if he wants to be around for a while, he needs to make an effort to stay active and healthy. That means getting rid of his Homer Simpson-esque eating habits and actually exercising once and awhile.

So, this Father’s Day, give your father the gift of health (or, as he might tell it, the gift of guilt). Let the old man know that he’s got to shape up now, so he can be around to make phone calls to you that you let go to voicemail because you’re at work and you don’t understand why he thinks he can just call you in the middle of the day.


1. Basis Band ($199): The wearable fitness tech market is crowded, but the Basis Band is the one that your dad might actually use. Why? Because it doesn’t look like a brightly-colored piece of rubber—it looks like a wristwatch. Also, because it gives you a ton of data to analyze and we all know that DADS LOVE DATA. Basis will track your dad’s activity, calories burned, steps taken, heart rate, body temperature, and sleep patterns. Basis’ companion App provides a painstaking amount of analysis, which will keep him on track and more in tune with his body.

2. Nike Run X2 Sunglasses ($156, Finish Line): Your dad has been saying for years that he’s going to “start jogging.” His “jogging routine,” of course, looks more like him in bed after he hits the snooze button. Encourage him to hit the pavement with these sunglasses that are made for runners—they’ll stay put even during vigorous motion and the nose area is ventilated to reduce fogging on the lenses.

3. Prep Pad ($150, The Orange Chef): Your dad’s doctor has been telling him for years that he needs to cut down on salt (salt + dad’s hearts = bad news), but your dad doesn’t know the first thing about reading nutritional labels or even making the simplest healthy choices. He thinks Rice-a-Roni is healthier than a baked potato (WRONG). So, the Prep Pad is perfect for him. It’s sleek and connects wirelessly to the companion Countertop App, providing your dad with insights on everything he’s about to shove into his mouth, like that raw hotdog (what is it with dads and raw hot dogs?). If he’s being put on a special diet by his doctor, he can even add his nutritional goals into the Countertop App and it’ll help keep him on track.

4. Guy Gourmet ($18, Amazon): You’ve tried to impart some of your healthy eating tips, tricks, and recipes on your father to no avail. Face it: the man doesn’t want to know about quinoa. He doesn’t want to hear about kale chips. He’s a pretzels and beer type of guy. A steak and potatoes man. You and your “frou frou city girl” recipes are of no interest to him. That’s fine. Try another angle with Guy Gourmet (no, not Guy Fieri), a book that boasts 150 healthy, delicious recipes that are all approved by Men’s Health editors.

5. SodaStream ($90, Target): Your dad refers to himself as a loyal “Coca-Cola Man,” as if that wasn’t the lamest description anyone could give themselves. That means that he drinks buckets and buckets of soda, which is all sugar and empty calories. Give him a healthier alternative to the soda madness by gifting him with his very own SodaStream. He can make his own soda, sparkling water—even energy drinks—cutting down on calories and his grocery bill.

6. Autoseal Pitcher Set ($30, Contigo): Once your dad has weaned himself off the brand-name sugar water with the SodaStream, he may be willing to go a step further and drink water. I know, I know, it’s a crazy idea, but healthy decisions tend to beget healthy decisions, so why not give it a try? This Autoseal Pitcher Set is leak-proof and has a built-in infuser so your dad can throw in some citrus or some fruit to flavor his water naturally.

Amanda Waas is the creator of You’re Welcome, a gift guide site for all of life’s awkward occasions. Her writing has appeared in Every Day With Rachael Ray, Glamour, Made Man, AOL’s Shelterpop and DIY Life, and various others. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook and sign up for her succinct, not-annoying weekly e-newsletter for gift suggestions sent right to your inbox.

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Amanda Waas
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