How To: Motivate Your Family to Workout With You

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child.” The same can be said about staying fit and healthy! For most people, family is their #1 support system through and through. No one encourages you more than a loved one to push through a hard day, finish that seemingly impossible task, and do one more rep (especially with a bit of that family tough love thrown in!)

Family can also be a powerful source of inspiration. Seeing the progress that others have made, whether through their hard work or by adhering to a specific diet or workout routine, can be enough to motivate us to make a change for ourselves.

Not only are there proven physical benefits to having a workout partner, but watching those closest to you bettering themselves mentally and physically is a benefit in and of itself!

Here are a few tips for getting your family off the couch and into a healthy fitness routine!

Set Your Goals Together

Setting goals is an important step in wanting to improve a behaviour – in both your personal and business life! Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guides your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Goals also help align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve upon something that you don’t properly manage.

There’s no one to better judge whether your goals are set too high, too low, and realistically attainable than people you most likely spend the majority of your day with or have known the longest. Bouncing personal goals off one another is a great way to motivate one another in achieving personal greatness!

Remember to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) based on your fitness levels.

Lead by Example

Our family can have a huge impact on us – often without even realizing it! Modelling active behaviour is a super simple way to encourage loved ones to move more. 

Tell them about how it’s improved your way of life physically and physically in more aspects than one. But, don’t shy away from letting them know the struggles you’ve gone through, and how some days may be harder than others. The key is to be real and honest.

If you have a loved one who gives up after a single training session at the gym, it’s now your job to motivate them to exercise and persuade them to break out of their comfort zone.

Try to see things from their perspective and break them in gently as his/her fitness accountability partner. If your friend doesn’t like to break into a sweat but doesn’t mind walking through air-conditioned malls and window shopping, start by doing that with them! Then, sneak in mall workouts as part of the experience. The most important step is getting them to adopt a regular exercise schedule and take that step toward healthy living.

Competition, Incentives, and Celebration!

Who doesn’t love some friendly competition? Having the incentive of beating out their brother in a good old match of tug-of-war is a great way to push someone into improving their stamina!

Even if it’s as small as who gets the most steps in a month, incentives are a great way to encourage your family members to get more active. And admit it, there’s no one you’d rather beat in an arm wrestle than your sibling. Other incentives for you and your family to reach a fitness goal could be having a shopping spree, getting a pedicure, or having a nice family-dinner night out!

Don’t forget to celebrate your loved one’s achievements! That could be as small as walking for 10 minutes or doing a 5-minute workout. If it’s more than they’ve been doing, tell them they’re doing great and encourage them to carry on.

Make Exercise Fun

We understand that not everyone is a gym person or even an at-home workout person. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you get your body moving. Consider mixing up the usual gym routine with other activities and fun exercises like a dance class or cycling at the beach.

If the thought of working out still feels like drudgery to your family, find ways that don’t feel or look like exercise, to exercise! Plan a camping trip with nearby hiking trails or lakes to swim in, go for a family bike ride in an area of the city you’ve never been to before, do a couple of laps around your local mall, or take your dog for a walk (because yes, they’re family too!)

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