Helping a loved one get more active can seem like a difficult task! Lots of people have trouble getting enough physical activity. If someone you care about is having a hard time getting active, you really can help. Here are some tips to get you started.
Suggest activities you can do together.
- Start small — try taking a walk together after dinner twice a week or doing push-ups during commercials while you watch TV
- Mix it up — find different ways to move, like dancing or doing balance exercises
- Try something new — take a fitness class together or play a sport you both like
Make it part of your regular routine.
- Meet up at the local gym or recreation center on your way home from work
- Wake up a bit earlier so you can go for a brisk walk together before breakfast
- Pick a certain time for physical activity, like right after your favorite TV show
- Ride your bikes or walk to the store or coffee shop
Take time to understand the situation.
What are your loved one’s reasons for not being more active? For example, maybe they feel overwhelmed or embarrassed. Talk to your loved one about what’s making it difficult to get physical activity — then ask what you can do to be supportive. There may be small simple things you can do to help your loved on get more active.
Recognize small efforts.
- Be patient — change takes time
- Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!
- Offer encouragement and praise — you can say: “Great job getting a walk in today!”
- Point out positive choices — you can say: “I’m glad we’re walking to the park instead of driving”
Remember, living a healthy life doesn’t have to feel daunting. Implementing small, simple changes in behavior and consistently repeating these changes gets you and your loved one closer to a healthier life, one step at a time.