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jcs007's avatar

What can I get my dad for father's day to motivate him to stay healthy?

Asked by jcs007 (1773points) June 14th, 2008

My dad has diabetes and doesn’t exercise much. It seems like he doesn’t have any motivation to do it. He wouldn’t read a book if I bought it. He tends to just watch TV. I really am concerned for his health, so I really wanted to get him something to promote a healthy life style. Any ideas?

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20 Answers

Dog's avatar

Giving him a book would only be nagging him. If you want him to get out and away from the tv you will have to pose the activity as family time NOT an exercise in healthy living.

How about this:
arrange an outdoor activity to share with him as a father/child event such as pier fishing or bowling.

marinelife's avatar

I have an idea. I think you should sit down and write your Dad a letter telling him how much you love him, and how worried you are about his health. Tell him all the things you want him to be around for in the future: your graduation (if you have not yet), your wedding someday (if you plan that). Use your own words, but you get the idea. You want him in your future. You need him to be part of you life.

Then if there is any kind of exercise he ever liked: going fishing, taking a hike, give him a coupon book for 15 hours (one hour each) of those activities with you. If he never liked any exercise much, ask him to please take a walk with you. Start slowly. Tell him you want to have some one-on-one time with him. (Write the coupons that way.)

The gift of yourself and knowing how you feel is the best gift he could ever have.

Remember one thing though. In case this does not work in the long term, we cannot, no matter how much we want to, change other people. We can only make our case, and then step back.

Good luck.

Trustinglife's avatar

I like Marina’s idea, as usual. A lower risk possibility is to get something that lets him work out while watching tv. On second thought… go with Marina’s idea. Be direct.

pwyatt's avatar

You might try getting him a bike. There are many inexpensive bikes that would be great for getting him out. Maybe, just maybe, he will feel guilty NOT using it if it comes from you. Better yet, buy two and make him ride with you.

Spargett's avatar

A Men’s Health subscription.

I subscribe. Its a really great magazine, and the fact that there’s a new one coming every month with new and fun things in about cool new ways to improve your diet and exercise will keep him motivated. I know it did for me.

Just seeing it laying around and reading a few pages every other days keeps a healthy mind frame throughout the week.

hearkat's avatar

You don’t mention your budget…

I suggest personal training sessions, if possible.

jcs007's avatar

I wish I could exercise with him, but I’m taking summer classes at my university.

Also, my budget is really limited. Being in college + no job = debt =)

clarisse_pz's avatar

A GEORGE FORMAN GRILL!!! I got one for mine, and he LOVES IT! Not the little inside ones, but an actual grill you can just put outside and plug in! It drains all the fat, is convenient and fast, and best of all it taste really good! I think that is a perfect gift. It will get him to at least eat healthier without him even realizing it.

clarisse_pz's avatar

It even has a smoker!

Dog's avatar

Here is the thing. Your intent is to give your Dad a gift that will make YOU happy. What do you think your Dad wants? He is an adult and knows how to take care of himself and chooses not to. To bring it up will only drive him further from a healthy lifestyle.

Change has to come from within- be it addiction, weight or living healthy.

So putting that aside and keeping in mind that you are a college student on limited income how could you give your dad a gift that tells him what a great dad he is – no strings attached?

Lets imagine for a moment the world will end tomorrow. What do you want your dad to know?

Is it that he is a great dad? That you appreciate all the sacrifices he has made for you and how he has cared for you? No matter how many great things you can think of that he has done for you there will be thousands of things he has done for you that you will never know.

Or do you want him to think none of that mattered and that he disappointed you by not living the way YOU want him to.

The most precious gift anyone can give another person is unconditional love and acceptance. And the best part of this is that it is FREE.

marinelife's avatar

@Dog You can love someone, and it is really hard to watch them destroying themselves before your eyes. I don’t think one has to accept the behavior to love the person. In fact, it may be more loving not to accept the behavior . You may also have to draw a line to keep yourself from being emotionally pulled under.

Dog's avatar

@Marina- yes this is very true- but so is the fact that you cannot change another person. Father’s day is not a day to take a stand against unacceptable behavior. That is like standing up at a wedding to tell the groom that he needs to stop drinking. The best way to help someone change is not to use every holiday or event to rub it in.
(Not saying this is the case here yet but it could be if it becomes a mission to get Dad healthy.)

Gentle help can be given on non- holidays and events and it is likely it will be better accepted then.

Lets put it this way- life is very short. I have lost loved ones suddenly from unexpected causes. Fathers day should be to appreciate your Father for all the good he has done. It should not be used to try to better a person.

It is just my opinion- Love your family today- life is uncertain.

marinelife's avatar

@Dog I agree.

jcs007's avatar

@Dog. I appreciate your input. I guess I forgot to mention how much I love my dad and how much it pains me to see him sad. I know that the diabetes is getting to him. I see how my intention can be interpreted as selfish, but unconditional love can be shown in so many ways: from a hug to a new car. Somewhere inbetween is concern for one’s health. My dad showed me how much he loved me when I was in the hospital, when I took many trips to the ER, when I broke my arm and ankle, and when I was having trouble with my mental health. I’m doing this because I love my dad. I know for a fact that if he feels better about himself, that he’ll be happy. Father’s Day is to show how much you love your dad. Not only did I want to show how much I love him, but also wanted to show how much I appreciate him and how thankul I am for everything he has done. I want him to be happy. If you want to call it selfish, then go ahead. But this is how I show that I love my dad.

spendy's avatar

If you have a YMCA at your disposal, head there and sign him up. Also ask about a TriFit assessment. It’s a comprehensive evaluation of overall personal health. It takes EVERYTHING into consideration (with some pretty cutting edge technology) and calculates the Real Body Age. You might call ahead to see if they have a TriFit machine. Not all Ys do. We’re lucky to be one of very few that got this impressive contraption as part of a grant. Nifty stuff. Something like this should really wake him up.

susanc's avatar

jcs, everyone should have such a good son.
How bout this:
Tell him about this conversation. Don’t even make him take a walk while you tell him. Tell him wherever you usually talk with him.
You can present Dog’s compassionate, realistic position: you love him whatever he does. And you can also present Marina’s, etc: you want to keep him.
So get him a Snickers and a pair of running socks and let him know both things are true: you love him and you don’t want to lose him. He will cry.

Trustinglife's avatar

I love that, Susan. And you could ask him: on a scale of 1–10, how open is he to trying some exercise activity, given that he could control what, when, and with whom?

susanc's avatar

Yes! I hope jcs got this good idea in time to deploy it for Fa’s Day, but if not,
it doesn’t matter even a little bit – hopefully, they’re talking now.

jcs007's avatar

Thanks everyone for your input! I think all he needs is time with me and love from his family and he’ll be just fine. Again, thanks everything!

treuprosperity's avatar

If you live close you could get him a membership to a health facility that you could meet him at to exercise. Your company would be appreciated and he would love such a thoughtful gift that you both could share.

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