How to get friends and family involved in fitness

August 21 2015

As a fitness lover, it’s really great when I see friends and family becoming more active. Whether they’re taking up running, joining a sports team, finding a class they love or simply moving around a bit more; knowing that they’re doing great things for their body and mind is exciting.

However, sharing the benefits of exercise isn’t enough to motivate some people to go for a workout so here are some tried and tested ways to ‘gently’ encourage your loved ones to put their trainers on and enjoy those endorphins:

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  • Let them choose the activity. Remember, just because you love jogging or swimming doesn’t mean that those around you will too. Getting your family or friends to pick their own activity should increase the potential for them to enjoy it.
  • Try something new together, that way you’ll all be beginners and can laugh about your skills (or lack thereof) afterwards.
  • Plan a fun activity, such as a game of rounders or a rock climbing class – fitness doesn’t have to be boring!
  • Incorporate fitness into your everyday life, like walking the dog or cycling to the shops.
  • Include active adventures on your holidays, such as a bike or walking tour of a new city, hiking, or even paddle boarding. Doing something that they can’t do at home makes it more exciting, plus you’ll definitely earn your ice-cream or cocktail afterwards!
  • Make it sociable by using a run, weights session or walk to catch up with one another and talk about your day without the distractions of phones and TV.
  • Join a league, such as 5-a-side football, dodgeball or netball. You can make new friends, will be committing to regular sessions, plus it might bring out the competitive side in you all. Getting your kids to sign up for a team and watching them each week can also be a great family outing.
  • Bribery works a treat! Whether it’s new kit, a post-run brunch or after-class drinks, rewarding yourself and others can make the workout seem worth it, and soon you’ll get them hooked on the endorphins too.
  • Set a challenge, like 30 days of fitness, where you all try to complete something active every day for 30 days, and reward gold stars for each day that you achieve it.
  • Appeal to their competitive side, dare them to run a 10K faster than you, or do better in a spin class!
  • Make it easy for them, choose a gym or activity close to their home or office, sign them up to a class, you could even bring their kit for them = no excuses!
  • Play a game. Why not dust off your rackets and play a game of tennis or squash, or a round of golf together?

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Finally, don’t forget to stay positive. Getting annoyed if they didn’t enjoy something, or being grumpy if they won’t exercise with you won’t help anyone. Keep praising, smiling and hope that they eventually enjoy it as much as you do.

Article bCharlotte Watson from www.therunnerbeans.com.