Beyond The Tie: Gifts Fit for Every Dad

You could get dad a tie for Father’s Day — after all, it’s one of the most common gifts to give dear old dad.

But maybe this year, you’d like to give him the gift of longevity instead — a gift that will keep him around, healthy and active for many years to come.

Maybe this year, you give dad the gift of fitness and wellness. And no, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Getting fit can be as easy as a good run, a regular tee time at your local golf course or a fun Saturday at the batting cages.

It’s something fitness expert Randy Turner, who talks with fathers in every stage of their lives when they come to see him at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth Fitness Center, recommends.

“Just giving dad an outlet to get active every week is a great gift,” he said.

And he doesn’t just recommend that; he practices what he preaches.

“I do this for a living, and I always encourage my dad to get out and be active,” Turner said. As a result, his dad is “taking care of himself more now, than he ever did before.”

In Turner’s job, he says he sees a lot of dads that want to enjoy their daily activities and hobbies more, but realize they might not be in the best shape to do that.

“They want to enjoy their life more,” he said. “They’re tired of being sore while working in the garden, or mowing the lawn.”

Turner said the philosophy at the fitness center is to “train for life.”

“I always go back to training for life,” he said. “So in your 20s and 30s, when you might be a dad with young kids, we’re going to focus on your lower back, your quads and other muscles you need to do things like lifting strollers and car seats or carrying a child around for a long time.

“When dad starts hitting his 40s and 50s, training for life would look different. Your blood pressure is starting to creep up. Maybe your nutrition is bad, your ligaments are getting stiff, and you’re not as active as you once were, so let’s start easing into this active stuff.

“And older dads, they are trying to maintain their independence,” Turner continued. “So training for life would include things like walking on a treadmill, and doing light exercise to keep joints flexible.”

So what would a fit Father’s Day gift look like? Finding a great one might be as easy as thinking about dad’s hobbies and interests — or even dinner conversation.

Here are some active gift suggestions you can find around the Dallas-Fort Worth area:

  1.  If dad has always expressed an interest in taking up running, you could give a membership with a running club like the Dallas Running Club or the Fort Worth Runners Club.
  2. Good shoes are also important for running. Turner suggested hitting a store that specializes in running shoes to make an appointment for a professional fitting. “Go get a session set up with a specialized store, and get him a gift certificate for a good pair of running shoes.”
  3. Maybe dad is on that company softball team but would like to up his game when it comes to at bats. D-Bat in Fort Worth and Extra Innings Plano both offer lessons with skilled instructors, as well as batting cage rentals.
  4. Is dad a golfer? For a quick afternoon of fun, Top Golf has locations all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he can practice driving and get a great upper body workout in.
  5. You can also set him up with a tee time at any of the six municipal courses in Dallas, or the four within the city of Fort Worth. You can also scour this list of the top 100 golf courses in Texas to find more near you.
  6. And if dad just wants to be more fit in general, you can always get him a membership at any Texas Health fitness center, and even get him set up with a session with a trainer!

“Of course, you’ll want to encourage him to see a doctor before starting any exercise routine,” Turner said.

Dr. Donald Hohman, an orthopedic surgeon and physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, agreed, adding that one thing to keep in mind is dad should generally start slow.

“Starting out with too much too fast is the best way to wind up with a major setback and/or a potential injury.”

Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.

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