Dad is often the guy you sit down to watch a big game with or have a couple of beverages with while firing up some goodies on the barbecue. However, with Father’s Day fast approaching, you could consider alternative ways of appreciating dad while being active.
There’s nothing quite like bonding in the great outdoors, or even passing over the game on television to engage in some sports with dad by your side. Here are eight healthy Father’s Day activities for you to consider that dad will likely appreciate…
- Take a Hike
Grab a camera, some water and put aside a few hours to go for a long nature stroll with dad. It’s a great way to reminisce about the old days, as your pop probably took you for walks in nature when you were a tot.
Walking is good low-impact exercise for you and your father, and the fresh air and movement will benefit you both mentally and physically. If your dad isn’t someone who regularly treks out into the trails, perhaps you should choose a route that’s more manageable in terms of length and terrain.
- Go Fish
You don’t have to rent a charter fishing boat, but you can board a modest craft big enough for you and dad to explore the open lake for fishing or paddling. The exercise and sunshine will do you both good, and you’ll have plenty of scenery to look at (and some healthy competition if you’re both anglers).
If going out in a boat isn’t in the cards, you can opt to sit on the dock and cast a line while enjoying some peace and conversation. You can rent a children’s fishing pole and help them learn the ropes as a bonding experience. This can be an entire family outing.
- Toss the Ball Around
Young or old, you’ll both love slipping on baseball gloves for a little pitcher-catcher practice or going long to catch the pigskin. You can easily play catch in the backyard, so this is both a convenient and inexpensive Father’s Day activity.
However, you may opt to find a park for more freedom to run or even hit a few balls into the field with a bat to chase down. Whichever you choose, keep the game light and safe; you don’t have to throw a 90-mile per hour fastball to prove your skills, or worry about throwing the perfect spiral. It’s about the love of the game and each other’s company.
- Take a Field Trip
If your dad loves museums, art galleries or historical sites, perhaps this is a great opportunity to accompany him on a little road trip. You can probably learn a lot from dad just by visiting a particular place that he loves and allowing him to talk about why it’s significant to him or the country.
Or, instead of buying lunch inside a museum or another similar site, you can pack a lunch and take a picnic break. Throw in a few snacks that you know he loves but try to keep his health needs in mind (don’t pack too many sweets if he has high blood sugar, for example, opt for natural sugars like fruits).
- Build Something Together
Many dads love the satisfaction of building something from scratch, and you and dad can tackle a project together this Father’s Day. Whether your dad is putting the finishing touches on a piece of furniture, or you want to create a soapbox derby car, now’s the perfect chance.
The bottom line is it should be fun. Don’t spring a project on dad that he won’t enjoy helping with. It doesn’t have to be woodwork; Forbes magazine points out there are specialized LEGO sets that let you recreate the skylines of famous cities, or you could both complete a complex puzzle together.
- Challenge Dad to Mini-Golf
If your dad loves hitting the links, like many dads do, then they probably relish the chance to brush up on their short game. Mini-golf allows you and dad to compete in a friendly showdown of putting skills through obstacles and hazards.
Mini golf is a lot less commitment then hitting the golf course for 18-holes, but it you’re both inclined to do so, go for it! A nice day, a forgiving wind and some luck on your side will both have you talking about the experience for months to come. Even if you have a lousy round, you’re still spending quality time with dad.
- Prepare a Healthy Meal
After your game of golf or visit to the gallery, you can surprise dad with a home-cooked meal. Instead of throwing a 20-ounce steak on the barbecue, you can opt for something a little lighter and more heart-healthy.
Greatist.com has several healthier meal ideas for dad including ribs with a lighter barbecue sauce made from apple juice and lemongrass that isn’t so sugary and sticky on the fingers. Oh, and if you really think dad will prefer some steak, consider a flank steak with pistachio chive pesto, as detailed on the website Chocolate and Marrow.com.
- Show off your Green Thumbs
Tending the garden is something many dads enjoy, and you and dad can plant new varieties or tackle something bigger like a landscaping project. Perhaps your dad has been putting off an outdoor project because it’s a two-person job. Now’s your chance!
Gardening is a relatively low-impact and therapeutic way to spend time together, and the CDC apparently classify it as a moderate cardiovascular workout. In fact, gardening for 45-minutes during the day can burn up to 300-calories. Now, that’s something you both can dig.