There is a lot of information supporting working out in a group. From helping with accountability to pushing you to the next level of your fitness, there are many positives to exercising with at least one other person. If you have an anti-exercise significant other, here’s how to get your partner to exercise.
Ask If They Hate Working Out Or Just YOUR Workouts
It can be easy to think that your partner hates working out because he doesn’t want to join in with your workouts. But, it may be simply that he hates the kind of exercise that you love.
My wife is a great example of this issue. The kinds of exercises that are pushed in the public school system left her with a distaste for running and team sports. I, on the other hand, love running and incorporate weight training as part of my weekly cross-training.
I kept asking her to run with me, sign up for a 5K, and generally being a nuisance in my desire for her to share what I enjoy. While she doesn’t mind lifting with me occasionally, she finally sat me down and made it clear that I was being inconsiderate of her preferences.
So, while it would be far more fun to have your significant other enjoy the same types of exercise that you do, you may want to have a real talk about whether or not they just don’t care for your favorite exercises.
Reconsider How You Are Approaching Your Significant Other
How you talk to your partner about working out can make a huge difference. Fitness junkies can get a little overenthusiastic in sharing—some may call it pushing—our preferred type of workout on others. And when it comes to your intimate partner, that pushing can definitely be taken badly.
A recent example of this pushy behavior came up when I was on a long run with a friend. He was telling me how his wife was mad at him about talking about running. Thing is, when I drew the story out, he mentioned that when his wife was commenting that she was unhappy with her weight, my friend took it as an opportunity to bring up exercise.
Let me tell you that saying, “If you are really serious about shedding weight, you should come running with me” is not the right answer. Predictably, his wife was upset. Instead of the validation that her husband still thought she was beautiful, she took it as a comment that he would find her more attractive if she lost weight.
Now, whether that is true or not is not really the point. If you care about your partner, be sure that you always consider your words and timing. In these sensitive moments, when your partner expresses insecurity about their appearance, it is best to be supportive. Bring up exercise and other lifestyle changes a little later when things are less emotionally charged.
Try Exercises That Are New To Both Of You
One of the reasons why your significant other may be resistant to working out with you can be because they don’t fumble around while you are an expert. In this case, you may get a better response from your partner if you offer to try new exercises together.
Trying out new types of workouts together can have numerous benefits for both of you, such as:
- You may discover something new to enjoy and supplement your regular routine.
- Trying new things, from rock climbing gyms to fitness classes, can be bonding experiences for couples.
- Your significant other can find they don’t hate exercise and see that there are many types of workouts out there.
- Learning together can help you both work on your communication and overall partnership.
Also, a study uncovered that couples that joined an exercise program together were far more successful in sticking to the workout program than those who didn’t have the support of a partner. So, even if your significant other chooses an exercise that you don’t enjoy as much, try and attend with them. Help them get into a healthy workout routine.
Go Slow If Your Partner Agrees To Workout With You
Lastly, but pretty important, remember to take it slow if your partner does agree to exercise with you. It can be tough to not launch directly into your workouts as if they are at your level. Try to remember, we were all beginners at some point. If you do push your partner too hard and too fast, you can discourage them from wanting to exercise ever again.
So, depending on your fitness disparity, you may want to scale back your exertion between 30-40%. This is to allow your significant other time to build up their fitness level.
It can be a tough balance between encouraging your partner to exercise and nagging at them. But if you approach them with love and compassion, they will be far more receptive.