When I first decided to start working out regularly, I was stuck in a pickle. While most of the state of Colorado works out regularly, it’s in a completely different way than I was used to in Chicago or in Cincinnati.
In Colorado, we’re hiking, or skiing, or rock climbing, or any number of seemingly intense activities. Rather than a typical “work out,” Colorado is full of adventurers that prefer to explore the world rather than exploring the nearby fitness studios.
But, contrary to the typical population here, I LOVE working out in gyms and in boutique studios. Yes, I’m known to go skiing on a moment’s notice, but I love just booking a workout class and getting a good workout in within an hour rather than my fitness routine taking up half the day.
So, ergo, I had to convince a few others to get into workout mode with me. While I definitely don’t mind working out on my own from time to time, having a crew available to keep me accountable is something that I find to be hugely beneficial.
And here are some tips that I learned helped to encourage others to get fit by my side.:
Remember that inspiration is external, while motivation is internal
You cannot force someone to want to work out. You cannot nag or persuade someone with your brilliant logic. (Though I do agree with you that your logic is brilliant.)
A person has to have their own motivation to get fit. All you can do is kindly provide someone with the information they need to be educated and support them when the going gets tough. Because, in all likelihood, the going will get tough.
Lead by Example
While it might not be fun initially, leading by example is one of the best ways to encourage others to get fit. Many people avoid working out because they don’t think that it will be “fun” or they’re just comfortable the way they are right now.
Speaking about the positive benefits you’re seeing and feeling will help others be comfortable giving fitness a try. Do you feel more energized? Are you seeing physical changes? Are you feeling mental benefits from the endorphins?
Talk about what you’re experiencing and share how working out has helped you deal with any issues you may have experienced prior. Helping others see that someone they trust (you) is seeing the benefits “experts” talk about will eliminate barriers to getting those close to you into the gym.
Relax and Make Exercise Enjoyable
Many people don’t like the idea of working out because it sounds like… wait for it… work. And how many people do you know that want to spend their well-earned free time doing more work.
Naturally, most of us are seeking immediate pleasure, regardless of whether it might cause future pain. Rather, especially if we’re wanting to encourage others to get fit, we have to offer a bit of flexibility into our fitness routines. Offer to join them at a dance class or suggest taking a walk during a lunch hour you both mutually share.
Turning exercise into a casual hangout might be a much smaller barrier for you to overcome than convincing your buddy to head to your hour-long gym session.
What suggestions do you have to encourage your friends and family to get fit? Do you prefer working out alone or with others?
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