This Father’s Day, show Dad you care - The Explorer: Health

This Father’s Day, show Dad you care

Help improve his health with the right gift

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Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:00 am

As you plan to show your expansive love for Dad on his special day, you may notice his girth is expanding as well. And though you wouldn’t want to insult dear Dad, you want to ensure his good health for a long time to come.

Your sensitively chosen Father’s Day gift can contribute to the well-being of the man in your life, say health experts.

Making it easy is the key to motivating Dad.

“When you make it available, people go for it,” says Scott Williams, vice president of the Men’s Health Network, a Washington D.C. nonprofit organization that encourages men to live a healthier lifestyle.

For example, having the right tools turned Williams into a vegetable lover.

“When my wife bought a vegetable grilling basket, I started grilling vegetables and ate more,” says Williams.

Use the same strategy if you want to get Dad moving, experts say.

With the appropriate gift you can encourage your father to exercise, play a sport, de-stress and maybe even drag you off the couch. Here are five gift ideas that deliver fun and fitness for Dad:

Simulated sports games

If Dad can’t get to the gym, bring the workout to him, said Chicago-area registered dietitian David Grotto in an email.

Although playing along with on-screen tennis, baseball or golf doesn’t deliver the same workout as participating in an actual sport, Dad does burn some calories and get his heart pumping, according to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

A program such as Wii Fit, a video-exercise game developed by Nintendo, may have an added advantage.

“Prepare Dad for the brutally honest animated figure that awaits him when he steps on the Wii scale. But the neat thing is that you get to see his belly shrink in real as well as animated life as he makes progress,” says Grotto, author of “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life” (Bantam Books, 2008).

Pedometers

The gadget that counts Dad’s steps is very popular, according to Williams.

Pedometers appeal to guys’ competitive natures as they compete against themselves to accumulate higher numbers. Dad doesn’t have to run three miles, but he can take the stairs – not the elevator – and boost his step count, Williams says.

Sport lessons

Whether it’s tennis, golf, rock climbing or skiing, you’ll score big if you give Dad one-on-one time with an instructor, says Todd Galati, certification manager for the American Council on Fitness, San Diego.

Sports gear

Dad would love a pack of tennis-ball cans to go with his tennis lessons.

Galati also recommends running shoes, a stability ball or tubing for Dad’s workouts.

Sports activities

Plan a family outing with Dad. Enjoy a hike or a game of golf or tennis together, says Galati.

Once Dad is enthused about a sport, he can push you out the door as well.

© CTW Features

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