Thanks in part to the way technology has pushed fitness and wellbeing into the mainstream, there are more people keeping themselves fit and looking great than ever before – and that classic image of dad sitting on the couch watching the footy is just as likely to be one of him going for a run every morning, or working out to fitness videos.
Sure, going for a regular run or popping down to the gym for a workout aren’t anything new – but the tech that helps us do it has been getting more and more advanced, to the point where even if your dad has had a smart watch for a while, it’s probably incredibly basic compared to what’s available now. These little wrist-worn powerhouses are tiny connected computers in their own right. They measure heart rate, they track your run or ride via GPS, all the while sending their sensor data to your mobile phone where – depending on the watch’s features – you can discover a wealth of information about the body’s reactions to exercise and activity.
Whether it’s mapping out an epic bike ride via satellite or keeping an eye on heart rate and blood oxygen levels, these little devices are essential for any active dad. Some are marketed as Sports watches, while others as “Smart” ones – but the differences are often blurred between the two. In general, a sports watch will have a more rugged build, with larger controls designed to be used during a workout. They’ll often also have larger displays, and more satellite tracking features. Smartwatches still offer almost all of the various health tracking features but are aimed more at everyday life rather than fitness use.
One of the most recognisable brands in modern watches is Fitbit, who moved into smartwatches after starting with simple fitness wristbands. Their Versa 3 is a stylish and versatile health-focused watch with a remarkable six-day battery life between charges, designed to track everything about health all day as well as during sleep. With a vast array of features and the ability to sync to a computer as well as to phones, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular smartwatches on the market.
For the dad who’s more a fan of conventionally stylish watches, there are some excellent father’s day gifts that aim very much at classic design and style, while not ignoring health and wellness features. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 has a big, bold 45mm face screen and tight integration with Samsung’s Galaxy phones, for which it’s an ideal companion (though it has 4G connectivity built in). While it packs in a whole bunch of health and fitness monitoring features, its target is clearly the busy business dad. For the more health-focused, Withings’ unique ScanWatch features a medical-grade ECG and oximeter to scan the heart 24 hours a day, designed to keep dad informed about heart health in real time.
Garmin’s VivoActive smartwatch and Fenix 6X Pro sports watch, on the other hand, shout “active” with their rugged design and big screens; the former is more of a general-purpose smartwatch, while the Fenix is a seriously heavy-duty sports watch designed for running, climbing, skiing and more.
After the workout, dad might enjoy a wind-down massage to soothe aching muscles – and yep, technology has that covered too! The TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun looks like it means business, with its drill-like shape and a percussive massager able to be easily positioned where needed, with four different speeds and a two-hour rechargeable battery.
TriggerPoint also makes the MB Vibe Massage Ball, which may look like a little green sphere from a sci-fi movie, designed to be rolled over muscles for a deep, loosening massage that can be used before or after a workout.
And for the ultimate post-exercise treat, the Homedics Shiatsu Elite II Massage Cushion combines two different types of back massage with a soothing heat for added relaxation and can also do neck and shoulder massages on command – all from the comfort of dad’s favourite chair.
There’s one more gift that’s perfect for the dad who’s been keeping fit, working out and looking great – and that’s one of the latest manscaping tools for a fresh new look. Top of the list is, of course, a quality electric shaver, and there’s arguably no better recognised shaver brand than Philips, whose trademark rotating-blade design has been a mainstay for decades – for good reason. Their Series 7000 model protects the skin with a motion-sensing tech Philips calls SkinIQ, which guides you through the best shaving technique as the cutting power is automatically adjusted in real time.
If dad’s sporting a beard, Philips has a great Compact Trimmer that gives precise control over comb and blade settings via the Lift & Trim Pro system, and is completely waterproof, so it can be easily washed under the tap when done.
And for dads who head for the clippers to keep their hair exactly how they like it, hair specialists Remington has the Rapid Cut Pro, a palm-sized rechargeable clipper that’s ergonomically designed to easily follow head contours for simple DIY hair cutting that’s perfect every time.
Dad will never have felt or looked better. Thanks, technology!