Gift ideas for dad, no matter what his fitness level
Don’t look now but there are only seven shopping days left until Father’s Day.
I know what you’re thinking: “What do I get the dad who has everything? He already has me, the best son/daughter/spouse in the world.”
Well, even if he really does have everything (can you really ever have too many Hawaiian vacations?), there’s a gift that never fails: fitness. A good fitness gift might help dad get into shape, and he’ll love that. If he’s already fit, he’ll be happy to spice up his routine with something new.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Great. Where was this advice on Mother’s Day?”
Trust me (I once made the mistake of giving a butt and thigh workout DVD to my wife), this advice only works for dads.
A few ideas:
For the dad who wants to be more efficient: If the dad you’re shopping for is a cyclist looking to be more efficient and comfortable as he pedals around town, consider springing for a bike fit. Several South Sound bike shops such as Tacoma Bike and Old Town Bicycle offer fittings. You can spend $75-$300 (more if you buy parts) depending on how serious you want to get. Using measuring devices and sometimes even video, technicians make adjustments until the bike fits just right. Not only do these little adjustments make a surprisingly big difference in comfort but they’re also a good way to help avoid injuries.
For the dad with nagging pain: For a lot of people nagging pain is a deterrent to exercise. In many cases, yoga can help make that pain go away by increasing flexibility and building strength. Yoga can be a pretty inexpensive gift too (introductory deals of $10 for 10 lessons are available at many studios). Many people perceive yoga as being an activity for women, but that’s not reality. From professional athletes to weekend warriors many men rely on yoga. Still, if dad’s never done it, go with him. Everything new is more comfortable with a friend.
For the dad who needs a little direction: Sometimes the hardest part about getting into shape is getting started. And sometimes the hardest part about losing those last five pounds is knowing precisely what to do. A good personal trainer can point you in the right direction, teach you good form, map out a plan and deliver motivation. The South Sound has plenty of options for about $40-$60 an hour, so take a moment to find one who’s properly certified and has a personality that will mesh with your dad’s.
For the dad who wants a challenge: A personal trainer is also good for supplying a workout challenge. So is the biggest fitness trend of the past few years: CrossFit. This is a workout that combines strength, cardiovascular, plyometrics, balance and other elements of fitness into a rapid-fire workout that changes daily and is designed to keep participants from getting bored. There are plenty of CrossFit gyms to choose from around the South Sound with dues usually $100 or more per month. You’ll also find many local boot camps, training studios and gym fitness classes that use similar workout principles as CrossFit.
For the dad who wants the facts: Nothing says “I love you Dad” quite like a body fat test. Sounds weird, but if dad’s never had a body fat test this could arm him with a wealth of knowledge for improving his fitness. Not only will a good test tell you what percentage of your body is fat, it will explain exactly what that means and how much you should eat and exercise to reach your goals. It’s also a better (albeit more expensive) way to monitor progress than a scale. A hydrostatic test is $50 at bodyfattest.com
or a Bod Pod (air displacement) tests are $30-40 at MultiCare or Puyallup’s Body Logic.
For the dad who thinks gyms are lame: So dad thinks it’s lame to run in place, row in place and bike in place inside a gym on a sunny day. So does John Colver. That’s why Colver, a Seattle-based trainer, exercises outside every day even when the weather stinks. He’s developed a 12-week outdoor workout program called adventX. He outlines the program in his book, “Fit by Nature.” ($24.95, The Mountaineers Books)
For the dad who needs new shoes: So dad’s running shoes look a little tattered and you’re thinking a new pair would be a perfect gift. Not so fast. Running shoes should be selected by the runner. Still, it’s not a bad idea. Just go the gift certificate route instead. Bonney Lake’s Fleet Feet Sports and South Sound Running of Tacoma and Olympia sell gift certificates and they also offer a wider selection than you’ll find at department stores. Staffers at both shops will analyze dad’s stride to make sure he’s buying the right shoes.
Craig Hill’s fitness column runs Sundays. Submit questions and comments via firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/AdventureGuys
. Also get more fitness coverage atblog.thenewstribune.com/adventure