4 Ways to Motivate Your Partner to Exercise

4 Ways to Motivate Your Partner to Exercise

Couples who exercise together, stay together. Isn’t that how the old saying goes? Have you ever seen that married couple that looks so in love and happy they seem more like honeymooners than people who have listened to each other snore for over a decade? Perhaps the silver lining to that honeymooner vibe they’re giving off is that they’re getting physical—and we’re not talking about in the bedroom. Research shows that working out with your partner can translate into not only muscle and performance gains, but into relationship gains as well.

However, we understand that many couples just don’t see eye-to-eye on the benefits of exercising together. And that’s okay! After all, opposites attract right? It can be tough on a relationship when one person is active, and the other person isn't. If you're the exerciser in the relationship, you might worry about your loved one’s weight and overall health, longevity, or stress levels. And if you're the non-exerciser, you may feel guilty and ashamed for not being as active as your partner.

Even if you and your partner have different opinions on the importance of exercise, there are several ways in which you can offer encouragement to get your partner into the gym with you. And with the growing body of evidence suggesting that couples who sweat together really do stay together, the odds of successfully getting your partner on board are in your favor. Here’s some ways in which you can gently nudge your partner to make some lifestyle changes without coming off too pushy.

 

PROMOTE EXERCISE AS GUATANTEED QUALITY TIME

In this busy, fast-paced society we all live in it’s becoming more and more difficult to carve out alone time to spend with your partner. We often have the best of intentions when it comes to “date nights,” but sometimes even those can get put off if you have to work late or something unexpected comes up. However, if you’re the exerciser in the relationship and you’re prioritizing your workouts, you probably already have them built into your schedule as “appointments” that you can’t skip. So, if you’re already making time in your day to work out, why not do it together? Exercising together means built-in quality time during the day, and more quality time helps promote a healthy relationship. That’s a win-win in our book!

 

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Think back to a time when someone was nagging you about getting something done. If we had to take a wild guess, we’d say that tactic probably backfired! Same goes for trying to get your partner into the gym with you. Instead of nagging them about getting into the gym with you, lead by example and focus on your own healthy behaviors and it will encourage your partner to do the same. It’s surprising how often people will make a change after the begging or nagging stops. If you think your partner may need more subtle encouragement, you might try going shopping and buying yourself some new clothing that accentuates your new figure. Your partner is sure to notice and be inspired to want the same for themselves. Remember: Lead by example and continue to stay committed to your healthy lifestyle and your will undoubtedly notice your increased energy levels, overall good mood, and that new figure you’ve been showing off.

 

DON’T PUT YOUR PARTNER ON THE DEFENSIVE

If you want your partner to be receptive to making a lifestyle change, don’t make him or her feel embarrassed about their current lifestyle choices, that’s only going to spark resentment. Instead, use gentle, non-confrontational encouragement to spark your loved one to make a lifestyle change. Gentle encouragement could be planning after dinner walks, something that is not only a healthy activity but forces you both to leave the devices and screens at home and reconnect after a long day. Or maybe it means getting your partner to join you with planning healthy meals for the upcoming week so that they feel included and can see that eating healthy isn’t difficult or scary. Or perhaps you can invite your partner to your next workout session and show them how things work. Offering a no strings attached invitation could be enough to get a hesitant spouse or partner on-board.

 

MAKE IT FUN

After all, shouting "Hey, let's go flip some tires and do 100 burpees," just isn't going to do the trick. However, activities that seem less like exercise and more like “fun”, such as playing a light-hearted tennis match, or going for a walk or bike ride in the local parkmightbe more appealing and a great way to reinforce that exercising and being healthy doesn’t always have to come in the form of flipping tires and doing burpees until you feel like keeling over. Just be sure to choose an exercise that your partner can do, especially if he or she hasn’t been working out lately or hasn’t worked out at all. Find something you know your partner will enjoy and find success in and make it about spending time together and having fun rather than about exercise. 

Remember that providing gentle encouragement and coming up with fun ways to exercise will make this process go much more smoothly. If your partner is reluctant to exercise, make sure to take time to listen and not just lecture or nag. Couples that exercise together are found to be healthier together, but sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to listen are essential if you hope to have your partner join you on this fitness journey.



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