It’s a perplexing issue. Probably one of the toughest I’ve faced. And I don’t quite have it figured out yet.
How do you get your loved one into the gym?
Does your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend go to the gym with you? Does he or she share your passion for fitness? Lift weights with you? Tackle group fitness classes, try healthy dishes with you or attempt yoga?
If your answer is no, please don’t worry. It’s difficult enough to stick to a healthy lifestyle by yourself. To add your loved one to the mix can be even more daunting.
There are many couples who don’t share the same intensity and passion for fitness. More often than not, one partner will have a greater drive to work out, eat right and dedicate time to a fitness goal. This tends to leave the other partner trying to catch up; resenting or envying their partner’s dedication; or even worse…a whole lot of conflict and separation.
As a personal trainer and marriage and family therapist, I’ve been really fascinated with this particular issue. How does one share their fitness lifestyle and get their loved one into the gym?
Even though I’m still working out the kinks, I wanted to share some helpful tips you can try with your loved one if you find yourself facing this dilemma. Of course everyone is different, so be patient and, most importantly, never give up.
Share Your “Why”
It’s important to be open and communicate. It’s one of the biggest problem areas in a relationship. If you can state why it means so much to share your fitness experience with your loved one, it’s always a good place to start. Oftentimes if your partner sees how happy this lifestyle makes you, he or she will be motivated to participate and share your joy.
Your loved one doesn’t need to do everything you do. And starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle needs to be an individual choice. If you start pressuring or placing guilt on your loved one, the odds that he or she will share your fitness passion are slim to none. Work on inspiring your partner throughout the day and expressing how your healthy lifestyle positively affects you. Take notice and compliment your partner when he or she opts for a healthy activity, and don’t look to your partner for the encouragement to continue on your own personal fitness path. I promise that they’re paying attention in their own way and, with time, they will make the decision for themselves because of how motivating and positive you were.
Find Common Ground
There are countless avenues that you and your loved one can explore when it comes to fitness. One of the best ways you can get them into the gym is to build on their strengths and interests. Maybe your loved one used to run track? Maybe they want to learn a new sport or try yoga? Have you asked them? Sometimes you need to invest a bit more effort, compromise more and spend some time in the gym or outside doing what interests them. This will encourage them to share in your fitness endeavors and even teach you some new skills!
Overall, when you’re trying to get your loved one into the gym, know that it’s a difficult but doable task. Be patient, flexible and creative in your attempts and get ready to reap the rewards both in the gym and your relationship!