Let’s be honest: Father’s Day has a slight “me too!” vibe to it. Even the National Retail Federation admits, “As the smallest of the American gift-giving holidays, Father’s Day is a blip on the retail sales radar compared to Christmas and Mother’s Day.” Whereas Mother’s Day has been an official U.S. holiday for 100 years, Father’s Day wasn’t federally recognized until 1972—an effort led by that great pater familias, Richard Nixon.
Still, consumers this year are expected to shell out some $12.5 billion on Father’s Day gifts and cards, and while for some it may be out of a shrugging sense of duty, for most of us it’s because we love Dad, too. And since we love Dad, we want him to be around a while.
So, then, instead of a tie or an afternoon left alone on the couch to watch golf, give your father a gift that prods him to take better care of himself.
It’s all in the wrist
In budgeting, the first step toward better financial health is a daily tracking of the ebb and flow of cash. The same is true for health—want Dad to be aware of how much sleep his getting, how much exercise he’s getting and how many calories he is burning? The Jawbone UP is for him. The base price is only slightly higher than the expected national average of about $114 spent by each Father’s Day shopper this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Go for a ride together
The top-rated child seat for bikes on Amazon, the iBert child seat is the perfect gift for newer fathers to shake off the sleep deprivation and get back on the bike to start shedding pounds. Unlike the mountain-biking father in this video, you don’t need to scale hills and jump mounds to get that joyous look on your child’s face. Adults should get about 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. This will help with that, and get in some quality time with the kid.
Work his brain into shape
Price: From $3 per month to $$239.96 lifetime
As the body goes, the mind starts to falter. Luminosity is an online mental “workout” website built by neurosurgeons designed to help speed, mental agility, attention and problem-solving skills through a battery of online games and puzzles. According to the New York Times, a 2008 study showed that playing these types of games “literally makes people smarter.”
He’s not going to stand this guy up
Price: Varies widely
OK, a tracking bracelet may not be enough for some dads to start working out, and neither is a gym membership—4 in 5 health club members don’t show up. But the pressure of having a scheduled appointment with another person is excellent for getting to the gym, and the one-on-one attention vastly improves results.
Put out his bad habit once and for all
Price: Book $9.95; Online seminar: $149; Live seminar: $400
If it’s good enough for Ashton Kutcher, it’s good enough for your dad. But seriously, if your father still smokes, the book on Allen Carr’s method is about the price of a pack of cigarettes, an online seminar is worth 15 packs and a live seminar about the price of five cartons of cigarettes.
We want to know your thoughts on this article. Meet us over on Facebook,Twitter, or Google+ to join the conversation!
Illustration by Brian Yee.