Help a Loved One Get More Active: Quick tips

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.
* 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.

Be understanding.

What are your loved one’s reasons for not being more active? Maybe she feels overwhelmed or embarrassed.

* Be patient. Change takes time.
* Ask what you can do to be supportive.
* Be a positive role model by staying active and eating healthy.

Recognize small efforts.

* Offer encouragement and praise.
* Point out positive choices. (“I’m glad we decided to walk to the park instead of drive.”)

Choose healthy gifts.

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
* Pedometer
* Gift certificate to a gym or exercise class

Struggling to set realistic fitness goals? Watch this space for help on this topic next week.

Image: Flickr/creativecommons Ed Yourdon