Lots of people struggle to fit physical activity into their busy lives. If someone you care about is having a hard time getting active, you can help. Here are some tips to get you started.
Suggest activities you can do together.
· Start small. Try taking a walk after dinner twice a week, or do sit-ups while you watch TV.
· Mix it up. Learn new stretches and warm-up exercises.
· Sign up for a fitness class together. Choose an activity that’s new for both of you.
· Meet up at the gym or YMCA on your way home from work.
· Give up a TV show to make time for activity.
· Wake up a few minutes earlier to go for a brisk walk together before breakfast.
· Walk or ride your bike to the store or coffee shop.
What are your loved one’s reasons for not being more active? Maybe she feels overwhelmed or embarrassed. Ask what you can do to be supportive.
Recognize small efforts.
· Be patient. Change takes time.
· Offer encouragement and praise. (“You did a great job with your sit-ups today!”)
· Point out positive choices. (“I’m glad we decided to walk to the park instead of drive.”)
For birthdays or special rewards, choose gifts to encourage your loved one to exercise. Some ideas include:
· New sneakers or workout clothes
· A basketball or balance ball
· Hand weights
· Gift certificate to a gym or exercise class