Ah, the Man Gift.
Sometimes elusive, often ridiculously expensive because it involves some sort of motor or 50-inch HD screen — or, in my house, $150/hour tattoo services. In our house, Father's Day is not a huge over-the-top occasion. (Neither is Mother's Day, to be fair, we have birthdays galore at this time of year so the other holidays tend to take a back seat.) Once you've been through the most obvious ideas: power tools, fishing poles, soccer balls, baseball tickets, flowers (yeah, that one was sort of a flop), coming up with fun gift ideas gets harder and harder as the years go by.
What do you get the Dad who has everything? Or — worse — says "I just want to hang out with you guys" when you ask what's on his list this year? If there's one thing I've learned from cohabiting with the male species, it's that men like toys. Here are my top picks for health and fitness tools that are buzz-worthy enough to satisfy Dad's love of novelty and play, and might even spark, or revitalize, a love of working out. He gets a cool toy to play with. You get, possibly, a healthier hubby. Win win.
Pssst... many of these are also fun for Mummy.... ;)
Lifting weights, gardening, or jogging around the neighbourhood with the monkeys in the chariot stroller will all be infinitely less annoying without that pesky cord flopping in Dad's face. These wireless headphones have an 8-hour life and low profile. Super cool: lifetime warranty against sweat. Now if only his white t-shirts had the same warranty.
This is not a new gadget, but it has definite man-appeal, is space-saving and practical, and safe around little ones. The Equalizer is great for upper body exercises and also provides a fantastic prop to help with stretching for flexibility, an area of fitness most Dads, especially 9-5 office types, can improve greatly to reduce injury and help with strength gains. Comes with an instructional DVD, and there are also tons of exercise photos and clips available on the internet.
This is the gift that sparked my blog idea, as I've recently picked up a TRX system for us at home, hoping it will be not just fun for me but interesting to Sweaty Hubby. The TRX is a true all-in-one fitness system that anchors from the ceiling or simply over a door, and uses your own bodyweight to train core, large muscles, balance and coordination in a way machines just can't. Bonus: it's got a military-chic (not sure those terms were ever meant to be paired...) appeal as it's been incorporated into US military training recently. That little tidbit is definitely worth dropping into the conversation as hubby unwraps his gift. Comes with training videos & more are available online.
You've probably heard of its competitor, the Fitbit, but the Jawbone Up wristband + iPhone/Android app is one step further on the coolness ladder. The Jawbone app tracks food, daily activity and even sleep, with data & motivation displayed via the downloadable app. A former client of mine showed me hers at coffee a couple of months ago, and told me her hubby loved his because it was techy but also low profile enough to be work every day without the entire universe knowing he was "trying to get healthy." The Up has photo and social components that keep it more engaging than previous tracking software/gadgets.
What do you get when you combine a kettlebell, dumbbell and sandbag? Well, you get something only a personal trainer could dream up, and endless forms of torture... I mean, fitness fun. Combine the sandbags to create handweights of 5-60 pounds, and attach to the "slambar" to create a barbell setup for more versatility. Also awesome: the foam lining saves your toes (and pets) from accidental drops. Videos are available on the website and most traditional kettlebell and dumbbell exercises that Dad already knows from his "college days" will work.
The couple who works out together, stays together. Or stays fit together. Something like that. The point is, these gifts will benefit Dad, Mom and the kiddos who will learn by example.
Happy gifting! Let me know if you end up selecting one of these for your special guy. Do you already own one of these? Share!