(LAKE GENEVA, WI — Did you know that behind many healthy and physically fit men there may be a nagging woman?
That’s the finding of a new study from the University of Lincoln in England, which reports that inactive men are more likely to turn to exercise if nagged by their significant others to lead a healthier lifestyle.
An earlier study from Surrey University also showed that both men and women are more likely to exercise regularly if urged by their partners.
“There are several conclusions that can be drawn from this research,” says Linda Moritz, a personal trainer at Lakes Area Wellness Activities (a/k/a GracefulAction Personal Training). “First, that some of us need encouragement to start exercising – whether it’s nagging or gentle persuasion – and second, that support from people around us, be it our spouses, family, or friends, is very important in achieving our health and fitness goals. And, this is equally true for both genders.”
Of course, encouraging others to get fit – which encompasses physical activity and healthy diet – will probably backfire if you don’t follow your own advice.
“To inspire people around you to exercise and eat well, you must set an example yourself,” Moritz says. “You can nag all you want but if you sit on a couch all day and snack on junk food, nobody will take you seriously. So put your own house in order before motivating others.”
If, on the other hand, you lead a healthy lifestyle, you should certainly try to persuade your family and friends to do the same. What arguments should you use to motivate people around you to start an exercise program? Moritz’s suggestions:
Give a good reason: Let them know what specific benefits they can expect if they exercise. For example, if your partner or friends are overweight, tell them how physical activity will help them burn off calories and fat. Remember to give them reasons that are personal, not just general and generic arguments that are not relevant to their lives.
Be a positive example: Talk about how exercise has improved your own life and health; be specific about the beneficial changes, whether on weight loss, strength, endurance, flexibility, or general conditioning.
Share your enthusiasm: It is possible that inactive people don’t work out because they think exercise is boring and / or hard. Let them know that it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. An exercise program can – and should – be enjoyable and adapted to each person’s level. This is where a trainer can be of big help.
Be a workout buddy: Offer to exercise with your friend or significant other, so you can offer your support and encouragement. If you train at a different intensity than a novice, a fitness coach can devise specific routines to match your individual levels.
Provide opportunities: Invite and involve family and friends to join you in fun and active activities. Just playing and having fun together is healthy!
Lakes Area Wellness Activities (a/k/a GracefulAction Personal Training): First launched as GracefulAction by Linda Moritz in the ’90s, Lakes Area Wellness Activities’ mission is to provide fun activities to add energy to lives! Lakes Area Wellness Activities offers a variety of wellness options including group fitness classes, Yoga, Pilates, workshops, community lifestyle activities and personal training. They specialize in serving women, older adults, individuals with orthopedic concerns, and small groups. Program details and client testimonials are available at www.GracefulAction.com. Moritz, a certified fitness expert with 20+ years experience in the fitness industry, can be reached at [email protected] or 262-245-5651.