Helping Others Get Fit

Would you like to see someone whom you care about embrace fitness? Has your partner put on a few kilograms lately? Is a friend in need of a major lifestyle revamp? Are your children struggling to keep up in their P.E. classes? Or it may be that a loved one is susceptible or suffering from a health condition and could benefit from regular exercise and well-balanced meals.


It is natural to want those we care about to be healthy. And if we see them engaging in unhealthy habits, often we are tempted to correct the negative behavior. But how do we go about making positive suggestions without seeming to be criticizing people's lifestyle choices? Here are some tips in helping someone you care about get fit.

Role Model

Friends are more likely to listen to your advice if they have witnessed positive changes you. To be persuasive you must be a positive role model -- a shining example of how your advice can pay off in positive results. Help educate your loved one along the way, share your fitness secrets, and encourage them to exercise with you.

Point Them in the Right Direction

Lifestyle changes take time and require the individual knowing what is the appropriate course of action to take. There is an abundance of excellent resources to help individuals get fit. Suggest a local fitness trainer or gymnasium, kick-start their education with a book or magazine on fitness or try browsing the Web and source out some great health and fitness sites.

Be Understanding

It is easy to be critical and forget just how hard making lifestyle changes is for many of us. Listen to others frustrations and concerns. Don't overwhelm them with advice. Understand the hurdles they face and then try to devise a plan together that is realistic and proactive.

Begin Slowly

When people acknowledge a lack of fitness and show a desire to change, they need support. Make suggestions for small ways they can become more active. Invite them to participate in a physical activity that will get them off the couch or away from unhealthy practices. Offer to make a nutritious, low-fat dinner.

Obstacles

Along the road to fitness, obstacles and disruptions will be faced, which often cause people to relapse into former unhealthy practices. During times of stress or disruptions, it is important to be there to offer positive encouragement. Fitness is not easy; it requires time, patience and perseverance. Encourage others to stick with it, even when the obstacle seems too difficult to cross.

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