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Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be difficult, especially if they have interests or hobbies different from yours. Navigating the highly specialized world of some hobbies can feel completely baffling. The good news is that if your dad is into keeping fit, we have some brilliant suggestions.
Here are 20 fitness gift ideas for dads suitable for Christmas, birthdays, or simply, just because (those are sometimes the best gifts, aren't they?). Whether he's a hobby runner, cyclist, weightlifter, or athlete, you'll find something on the list for him.
1. Glow in the Dark Armbands
If your dad is heading out for his daily walk, run or cycle ride while it's dark, consider some glow in the dark armbands. These are highly reflective and can be worn around the ankles or arms to keep him safe if he's running in an area with cars. If your dad likes to exercise in less well-lit areas or trails, consider pairing the armbands with a powerful head torch that can be recharged with USB.
2. Running Shorts
These running shorts come with an innovative design that incorporates a mesh liner and an outer quick-dry short. There is a zip pocket to hold his phone while he's out, so he can enjoy his playlist or make an emergency call if needed. It can also accommodate small objects like house keys or his bank card.
3. Running Belt
The running pouch is a low profile design, worn close to the body and designed not to move around while running. It can store many items in several pockets, so they are distributed around your body and don't feel bulky. It's constructed from moisture-wicking materials to be worn close to the skin and won't cause chafing.
4. Subscription Box of Socks or coffee
The Global Cycling Network has an excellent subscription service to deliver either coffee or compression cycling socks every month. The socks are brightly colored, ship worldwide, and are a nod to other riders on the road that your dad isn't one they want to challenge on Strava!
5. Reflective Jacket
Designed to be longer in the back to protect against muddy puddles and splashes, this reflective jacket is lightweight, breathable, and highly reflective. You will be able to spot your dad easily, even in low light conditions. Soft, lightweight fabric with a breathable, ventilated design, this windbreaker is comfortable to ride in no matter how challenging the weather conditions.
6. Polarized Sunglasses
The frames of these sunglasses sit snug against the face, so even if your dad is into mountain biking, these will stay put. The lenses block out the glare from the sun and the harmful UVA & UVB light. Perfect not just for outdoor sports, but driving home after the activities too!
The Nike Metcon is an excellent all-around shoe, suitable for both running and lifting. The shoe comes with a sole insert to slightly elevate the heel - which is incredibly practical if the workout includes heavy squats or Olympic lifting. Crossfit Dads will long have been familiar with the practicalities of the Metcon, and they're available in a massive range of colors.
8. Smart Gym Bag
Neither too big nor too small, this "Cinderella" bag of perfect dimensions won't just keep all your dad's training gear together. It's well made and includes a separate - ventilated - compartment for shoes. It can also keep dry clothes and wet kit apart. No soggy towels are mixing with clean, dry clothes. With a big opening for large or bulky items and a variety of pockets available - including mesh side pockets for shakers, protein, or other supplements, this gym bag doubles as a pretty versatile weekend travel bag too.
9. Lifting Belts
If your dad is into weightlifting (cleans, jerks, snatches - like in the Olympics), he'll need a belt that allows some mobility in his back. But if your dad is into powerlifting (bench, squats, and deadlifts), he'll need something thicker and more rigid. The lifting belt should be a very tight fit across the belly button, so don't be tempted to buy loose and let him crank it tighter himself. He'll be using it to brace against, and a snug fit is the only option. It might be a good idea to bring him into the decision making as he'd know best what fits his body.
10. Boxing Gloves
A fantastic way to manage stress and release frustration, boxing with a bag or a pad holding partner, is a brilliant sport. Boxers are some of the fittest sportsmen around, and their power to weight ratio is outstanding. But adequate protection is needed for the knuckles, or one badly thrown punch can mean a broken hand. These boxing gloves look incredible and are available in many weights for those big stingers and the fast and furious butterflies out there. Color options are a great variety too!
11. Inflatable Kayak
If your dad is more of an outdoorsy type, an inflatable kayak can be a brilliant gift. It deflates for transportation and can be stored in a small space while not in use. It comes with aluminum oars and sits 2 people so he can go out with a friend or your mum on an adventure in smaller-bodied water like lakes or mild rivers.
12. Emoji Golf Balls
Golfers are notoriously tricky to buy gifts because as soon as there's a new gadget out that could help their game, they don't hesitate to rush out and buy it themselves. That can sometimes leave us with little to no idea what to get them! These golf balls are a fun fitness gift idea for dads who might be prone to misplacing their balls in the long grass and may need some help figuring out which one is theirs!
13. Exercise Dice
Those home workouts can be challenging - but only if you have a plan to keep things exciting. Allowing fate to take a hand during home workouts can add some fun and variety into your dad's home training.
14. Exercise Cards
Exercise cards work on the same principle as the dice. Your dad can spice up his at-home fitness routine by letting the cards decide his daily workouts. Buy them both, and you can mix things up for him!
15. Ab Roller
The ab roller can work your dad's core like no other abs exercise. He can challenge himself immensely, and it takes up almost no space at all. If your dad is working out in a small area at home, wants to keep them in his gym bag, or likes to pack something in his suitcase when he's away from home - the ab roller could be the perfect fitness gift.
16. Core Sliders
Another great piece of equipment that can hide in a gym bag and provides an excellent challenge for the core muscles are the core sliders. But your dad can also use them to add instability to exercises like lunges besides making planks and a host of plank based movements far more challenging.
17. Yoga Mat
This anti-slip, water-resistant yoga mat is perfect for foam rolling, recovery, and mobility sessions. If your dad is complaining about how much time it takes to recover between lifting sessions, he may benefit from some time on the mat. This one comes with a simple sheet of stretching exercises and a strap to carry the mat.
18. Polo Shirt
Available in a vast range of colors and sizes, these polo shirts are timeless. The collar protects the wearer from the harsh sun on their neck, and the overall impression of the shirt is just sharper and smarter than other t-shirts.
19. Fitness Tracker
There's a vast range of wearable tech out there now for dads who love monitoring their data. The price range widely varies. This basic one can already track heart rate, sleep patterns, step count, distance, calories burnt, and more and manage your music or receive call notifications. Ensure that the one you choose is suitable for his preferred sports and that it can detect the movement accurately. If he's into his fitness, he'll probably be looking for one that will link to his Strava, too.
20. Hiking Boots
A good sturdy pair of hiking boots can be a gift that could last for years. Something lightweight, breathable, or waterproof depending on the climate where your dad lives. It's also important to note that it needs to suit your dad's preferred hiking terrain. A thoughtful addition could be a spare set of laces - there's nothing more irritating than a snapped bootlace on a hike, and this could avoid blisters from rubbing.
Although it can be challenging to buy a gift for someone if you don't share their hobby, there are 20 gift ideas here that could be suitable. If you're in the market for a fitness gift idea for dad's birthday, Christmas, or another special occasion, there's something here to suit every budget and a wide range of fitness interests.
No matter how experienced your dad is, whether he's just getting into his fitness recently or if he's a seasoned enthusiast, there's something here to support his passion. The silly presents can sometimes go down better than something more serious (and expensive!), so there should be something here to appeal to your dad and his fitness ambitions.