"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." – Sigmund Freud
If you were raised by a father or father-figure who made your childhood safe and gave you the tools you needed to thrive as an adult, Father’s Day is a perfect day to show your gratitude with a gift that protects their health and wellness.
Health, according to a definition formulated by the World Health Organization in 1946, is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Our team at Gaia Herbs has put our heads together to come up with 22 healthy gift ideas to support the six main types of health — physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental — and show your dad how much your care.
Gifts for Physical Health
Physical health refers to the overall well-being of your body and its various systems. It includes aspects such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, and the absence of disease or illness. Maintaining good physical health involves engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, getting enough restful sleep, avoiding harmful substances like tobacco and excessive alcohol, and getting good preventive medical care.
Here are several gift ideas to help your dad maintain good physical health.
1. A Balance Board
Keeping your balance as you get older is key to fall prevention and maintaining independence. Balance exercises build core strength, coordination, lower extremity muscle strength, and stability. And they can be done while standing at a desk, talking on the phone, doing other exercises (like planking), or even drinking a cup of coffee. They come in a range of shapes and sizes including:
- Skateboard-style board with a fixed rocker or separate cylindrical roller
- Round wobble disc with a spherical base that allows 360o rotation
- Rectangular rocker-style wobble board made of wood or plastic
- Air filled cushion
2. Under-Desk Treadmill/Walking Pad
For the dad who spends too much time sitting at his desk, an under-desk treadmill will help him meet his daily step goals. Smaller than a standard treadmill and generally a little slower, these three- to five-foot models can be used while taking phone calls or catching up on emails.
They generally range in pace from one-half to four miles per hour. Some models are flat and others offer an adjustable incline. Some models fold for easy storage and most are slim enough to fit under a credenza or sofa.
3. Fitness Tracker
A good fitness tracker gives your dad a way to track key fitness metrics and make sure he stays in optimum health for his age and size. Some trackers are clip-on, some come with a strap, and some are worn like a watch. When a tracker is combined with a watch, it can be worn all day, without having to remember to put it on before exercising.
Fitness trackers range from simple step counters to full-featured smartwatches with wifi and built-in GPS. They also range in price, so consider what health metrics your dad will use and invest in one with those features, good reliability, and the longest battery life you can afford. Depending on the model you purchase, a tracker can provide one or more of the following metrics:
- Daily steps
- Distance traveled (by foot, bike, or swimming)
- Time in active zone
- Calories burned
- Sleep quality
- Heart rate
- Oxygen saturation
4. Performance Socks
Socks are no longer a boring Father’s Day present. Today’s performance socks are almost a luxury, designed to keep feet dry, prevent blisters, and provide support.
There are different styles of performance socks for different purposes. Some are made to wick away moisture to prevent blisters and other foot conditions. Socks with extra padding in the heel and toe areas offer a cushion against impact and provide more support and comfort for the mid-foot and ball of the foot. A compression sock adds pressure to areas of the foot to improve circulation and reduce inflammation and is helpful for people who stand a lot, have foot problems, or are at risk of developing foot problems.
Many performance sock brands rate their socks for different sports activities, making selecting the perfect pair (or pairs) for your dad easier.
5. A Healthy Home-Cooked Meal
Show your dad love with a healthy meal you prepare and enjoy together. Add to the gift with one of the many popular plant-based cookbooks, such as Dr. Michael Greger’s best-selling “How Not to Die Cookbook,” which include delicious recipes that make healthy eating a joy.
You can also get lots of ideas for a Father’s Day meal in our article, “Gaia Herbs Recipes for a Healthier You.”
6. A One-Month Supply of Astragalus Supreme
If you’re worried that your dad seems low in energy or quick to get colds and other illnesses, Gaia Herbs’ Astragalus Supreme formula helps support immune health.* A one-month supply of Astragalus, one of the most widely-used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), should be enough for your dad to see a positive difference.
Gifts for Mental Health
Healthy aging involves maintaining cognitive and psychological well-being. Mental health refers to one’s overall state of mind, including thoughts, feelings, and ability to think, learn, and process information effectively. Good mental health involves having a positive sense of self-esteem, coping with stress and life's challenges, and maintaining good cognitive function. In addition to good nutrition, exercise, and sleep, engaging in mentally stimulating activities can contribute to maintaining good mental health.
Here are a few gifts to help your dad sustain good mental health.
7. Online Classes
From brewing beer and woodworking to ancient Greek history and beginning screenwriting, you can learn almost any new subject from an online class. An online education subscription is a great Father’s Day gift idea, whether it is for a single course or a year’s worth of classes.
To choose a program that is most likely to appeal to your dad, consider the following:
- Do they have courses that appeal to his interests?
- Are courses taught by experts in the field?
- Does the class format match the way your dad likes to learn?
- Do the classes have to be taken by a deadline?
- How long are the classes?
- Do the lecturers get great reviews?
Learning something new is one of the best ways to support brain health.
8. A Gift of Your Time
Gifting your time to perform certain tasks around your father’s house can help alleviate any stress he may have about a long To-Do list. Stress not only affects mental health but also affects physical health. If your dad has been struggling to clean the garage, prune trees, paint a room, or simply clean the house, you can give him the gift of peace of mind by helping him get those chores done. Doing them together can also benefit his social health!
9. “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age,” by Sanjay Gupta, MD
This #1 New York Times bestseller provides a guide to maintaining cognitive health, based on the latest neuroscience. This book explains how the brain works and provides useful advice about how to become more productive and protect and improve brain function. It includes a 12-week program to implement Dr. Gupta’s recommendations for healthy brain maintenance.
10. Lion’s Mane
There is growing evidence that many varieties of mushrooms offer significant health benefits.* Lion’s Mane, a marvelous stringy white fungus that looks like the main of a lion, may provide mood, brain, and cognitive support.* It can be purchased fresh at many farmer’s markets and is delicious dry fried and then sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic. A fresh lion’s mane mushroom is sure to be the most unique gift your father has ever received!
Or, you can purchase Lion’s Mane as a supplement, in capsule or powdered form, to be taken daily.
Gifts for Emotional Health
Good emotional health, also known as emotional well-being, requires the ability to understand and manage emotions effectively. It involves being aware of your emotions, expressing them in a healthy manner, and coping with stress and challenges. It includes the ability to form and maintain healthy relationships. Supporting emotional health involves practicing self-care, seeking support when needed, and engaging in activities that promote emotional well-being, such as mindfulness and self-reflection.
Here are a few great options to promote emotional health:
11. A Massage Gift Certificate
Spa days are not just for women. Men also need help to relax, unwind, and take care of their emotional well-being. If he already gets massages, give your dad a certificate for his favorite spa. Or, if the idea is new to him, find a massage therapist that works at a physical therapy center, chiropractic practice, gym, or in another environment where he feels comfortable.
12. A Journal
A journal can provide a private space for self-reflection and emotional expression. It is also a great way to manage stress and let go of negative or anxious thoughts and feelings. Journals come in all forms, from spiral-bound books with plain cardboard covers, to hardbound guided journaling books with prompts to encourage introspection. Add a collection of pens and a coffee mug to create a gift set that can be used to create a daily ritual of calm.
13. Fidget Toys
While anxiety is never fun to experience, fidget toys make a fun gift for anyone, without acknowledging that the person you’re giving them to actually needs to de-stress.
There is a wide range of fidget toys, from transformable robots and spinners to hand rollers and stretchy rubber noodles. You can also get small therapy balls with finger straps. Create a gift set of fidget toys to make your dad smile. They’re so much fun to play with that you may find the whole family fighting to try them out.
14. Gaia Herbs’ Calm Kit
Gaia Herbs’ Calm Kit of four popular supplements can support your dad’s stress response and help bring balance to both his body and mind.* The kit includes:
- Adrenal Health ® Daily Support: Gaia-grown Milky Oats, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, and Schisandra work together to provide overall nourishing and balancing support to the nervous system.
- Golden Milk: This powder of Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Dates, Cardamom, and Vanilla makes an Ayurvedic cup of calm that can help support both body and mind.
- Ashwagandha Gummies: Delicious gummies that add the flavors of cinnamon and ginger to Ashwagandha help to promote stress reduction and keep stress at bay.
- Calm A.S.A.P. ®: Featuring Passionflower, Chamomile, Vervain, Lavender, and American Skullcap, this blend supports one through life’s trying moments to take the edge off and provide relief from occasional anxiousness.*
Gifts For Social Health
When you can easily interact and form positive relationships with others, you have good social health. It requires developing and maintaining healthy connections with family, friends, colleagues, and the broader community. You can help support your father’s social health by communicating and engaging in activities you can enjoy together.
Any gift that involves social interaction will support your dad’s social health. Here are a few good gift ideas:
15. A Day Outing with Picnic
Fill your backpack with your dad’s favorite foods and plan to spend the day in nature together. Take a hike to a favorite lookout point. Spend a day fishing along a lake. Rent kayaks or a canoe and row to a beach where you can stop for your picnic lunch. Head out on your bikes for a day of adventure. Take a road trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
Combining good healthy food, exercise, and time together is not only good for social health, but helps improve mental and physical health as well.
16. A New Board Game
Board games involve social interaction that is great for everyone's social health. Gift a board game that involves teamwork, stimulates the brain by requiring strategy, provides some education, and is fun to play repeatedly. There’s no shortage of new board games to suit every interest, from fantasy scenarios to war strategy to who-done-it mysteries.
17. Pickleball Paddle Set
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America because it is easy to learn, fun to play, and can be played on public courts nationwide. Get your dad a Pickleball set with two or four paddles so you can play with him or he can get started with a friend. You might throw in a gift certificate for a lesson or two.
18. Two Tickets to a Concert or Ball Game
For someone who loves a night out on the town but may have stopped going because it’s an indulgence, the gift of tickets to a favorite event is golden. Consider your dad’s interests and get tickets to an event you can go to together or something he would enjoy attending with your mom or a friend. From a baseball game to the movies to a lecture series to the symphony, event tickets offer your dad a special experience he’ll remember for a long time.
Gifts for Spiritual Health
Spiritual health relates to your sense of purpose, meaning, and connection to something greater than yourself. Good spiritual health provides a sense of inner peace and fulfillment. It is highly individual and can be expressed through religious or non-religious practices, meditation, mindfulness, or engaging with nature.
Spiritual health is personal, but there are several gift ideas that support everyone’s need for moments of quiet meditation in whatever form it takes.
19. Wind Chimes
Wind chimes are a percussion instrument with a long history in spiritual practice. In some ancient cultures, wind chimes were used to ward off evil spirits or attract benevolent ones. Today, you don’t need a spiritual reason to enjoy the sound of high-quality wind chimes. The tones they create can produce a great sense of serenity. If you think your dad would enjoy this gift, invest in higher-quality wind chimes tuned so that each individual chime creates a pleasant sound and harmonizes well with the others.
20. Meditation Pillow
If your dad has started meditating or is considering it, a comfortable pillow can make all the difference for a successful practice. Traditional meditation pillows come in both circular and rectangular shapes. The best pillow is one that suits the meditator’s style of sitting: either cross-legged on the floor or kneeling with his feet tucked under him. When considering pillows, look for one with filling that will hold up to long-term use and not compress after a few uses. A removable cover will make it easy to keep clean.
Gifts for Environmental Health
Environmental health focuses on the impact your physical environment has on your well-being. Factors such as air and water quality, access to clean and safe spaces, exposure to toxins and pollutants, and the overall state of the natural environment all affect environmental health. While environmental health can be affected by the place you live, there are ways to minimize negative effects and improve both the air you breathe and the water you consume.
If your dad’s physical environment isn’t already in great shape, here are a few gifts that can help improve it.
21. Air Purifier
A good air purifier can clean indoor air of pollen, mold, pet dander, and wildfire smoke as well as bacteria, and viruses. But in order for it to be effective, it has to be big enough for the size of the room it is used in. When considering air purifiers, look for one with the following key features:
- HEPA filter that captures both smoke particles and airborne viruses
- High clean air delivery rate (CADR) that signifies how fast it filters the air
- Low noise level
- An activated carbon filter that reduces odors
22. Indoor Plant
Plants not only provide a great way to bring a sense of nature indoors. They also make the indoor environment healthier. Research indicates that rooms with indoor plants have less dust and mold than rooms without them. Plants may also filter out toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. They also replace carbon dioxide with fresh oxygen.
If your dad has any pets in his house, make sure the plant you select is not toxic to dogs, cats, birds, or other domestic animals. Sometimes even a small bite of a toxic leaf can be fatal. Also, avoid plants that add pollen to indoor air.
Gaia Herbs is committed to people, planet, and purpose. If you haven’t found the perfect gift for your dad in this gift guide, check out our healthy living gift guide for men for additional healthy and sustainable ideas.
Happy Father’s Day from our Gaia Herbs family to yours!