How to help someone you love start exercising (And is it Your Job to Do That?)

August 21, 2019

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


I want to be very clear about something.

You are responsible for you.

And they are responsible for them.

You can only control your own choices and actions.*

*I’m not talking about the children in your life. This post is about the adults you know and love.

Do you feel guilt because someone you love needs to be exercising but isn’t? Then you’re taking on the responsibility of their actions. Stop doing that.

It’s not your burden to bear.

You’re not responsible for another adult visiting the doctor regularly, following a healthy diet or exercising.

But I have some ways you can help encourage them to do the right thing. Try any one (or all) of these strategies and rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can do.

Don’t be a nag

Nagging people directly (or indirectly) doesn’t help.

Honestly, it makes you annoying and the opposite of helpful.

Don’t be that person who says, I’m only trying to help, every time you ask, Did you workout today?

Trust me on this. Every adult in the world knows they should be exercising. You saying it doesn’t help and will most likely only make the recipient resentful of you.

Set the example (actions speak louder than words)

Make certain that you’re setting the right example.

Are you exercising regularly?

I didn’t ask if you’re overweight. I asked if you’re exercising regularly. Because you should be.

It doesn’t matter your physical size. Everyone should be exercising 3-5 days a week (at a minimum).

Make sure your life reflects what you want to see in your loved ones. And make improvements where you need to be.

And don’t pretend like you’ve got it all figured out.

The worst thing you can do is pretend like you’re the poster child of healthy choices. None of us is.

Focus on setting a good example and be honest about where you could make improvements.

This will make a big impression on the people you love. Living a healthy life is a process.

We all make choices every single day that effect our health. And we all struggle with motivation.

Add the right people to your inner circle

This is really important.

If you and the person who you would love to see start exercising are BFF’s with people who drink, smoke and consider walking to the refrigerator exercise, then the chances of your loved one adopting an exercise routine anytime soon are pretty slim.

Find a few friends who live the life you’re trying to live and hang out with them.

Have you ever noticed that you pick up the body language or phrases of the people you work with every day? Why is that?

It’s because the people you hang out with effect you.

Why do parents want their kids to hang out with the ‘right crowd’? Because they’re influenced by their peers.

So are you.

Find some friends who’re trying to live the life you want to live and it’ll rub off on you and your loved ones.

Encourage regular healthcare

Most adults will go to the doctor with just a small amount of reminding (and/or encouragement).

And a good medical provider should be telling your loved one that regular exercise is absolutely necessary.

And when it comes from the mouth of the doctor (or other medical provider), sometimes it’ll stick.

Skip the gym–be creative together

Invite your loved one to go on a walk with you. Do that 3-5 days a week and BOOM you just helped them start exercising regularly.

There are a TON of fun ways to exercise together that don’t have to be phrased like you’re just doing it to manipulate them into regular exercise.

Some people hate the idea of ‘regular exercise’. It sounds like a terrible chore.

But ‘hey, you want to play golf?’ might not sound so bad.

There are a ton of fun ways to move your body that don’t have to seem like ‘icky’ exercise.

Try and find that activity and when they want you to, do it with them.

Other articles just for you…

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Are your friends making you fat? Here’s some ways to deal with that

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