A Nagging Question: Should Women Push Their Men to Exercise (and vice-versa?)

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. 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. 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. We always tell our clients to put their 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?

Here are a few suggestions:

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, believe it or not, but exercise actually can be fun! An exercise program can – and should – be enjoyable and adapted to each person’s level. This is where having a coach or 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, accountability, and encouragement. If you train at a different intensity than a novice that is absolutely fine, a trainer that specializes in program design can devise specific routines to match your individual levels. And as a bonus, when people workout together it has been proven that they achieve better results due to the accountability!

We’d love to help you get started today – we offer a Strategy Session with no obligation to join our private training studio. Call us 805.650.1239 and schedule yours today and bring a friend!