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Ways to Get Your Significant Other to Exercise

How to Get Your Significant Other to Exercise

You love working out, but your husband, boyfriend, or partner? Not so much. If you wish your better half's daily routine included more exercise, whether it's to relieve stress, drop a few pounds, or spend more time together, it's safe to say that nagging, bribing, and insulting are surefire ways to get your partner to shun sweating it out. If your goal is to get your special someone involved in your healthy lifestyle choices, it's time to employ a tactic that will actually get your SO pumped up. Check out these fresh ideas that will get you running, lifting, or cycling side by side.

  • Work the money angle: Mention that the gym you want to go to offers huge deals if you join with a friend. Who doesn't jump at the opportunity to save a little moolah?
  • Speak the language: If saving dough isn't exciting enough, lure your significant other with talk about air-conditioning, deals on massages, and huge TVs to watch sports and/or The Food Network.
  • Make it about the dog: If you have a four-legged friend, mention that you went to the vet and your doc is really concerned about recent weight gain leading to a doggie heart attack. That'll pull on the old heart strings a little and certainly inspire regular walks or runs with Fido, but really, Fido will be walking or running your hubby (wink).
  • Surprise! You're exercising: There's no backing down if you casually sign the two of you up for a partner yoga retreat, salsa dance class, or dodgeball team.
  • Throw a compliment: Come home from the gym all upset and say, "I really wish you were with me to spot me on the machines, because you're so patient and strong. I'd much rather have you help me than one of the random muscly trainers at the gym. Could you meet me after work tomorrow?" Flattery can work wonders, and maybe once your SO shows up, he or she will do a few sets and like it so much that you'll have yourself a permanent spotter and gym buddy.
  • Plan a romantic (fitness) date: Do something active together that's fun so it doesn't seem like exercise. Go hiking, play tennis, go swimming in a nearby lake, or plan a weekend surfing trip. Try to do a fun physical activity together at least once a week.
  • Involve some sweet gear or gadgets: You may have to drop some cash on a GPS that tracks mileage on hiking routes, a heart rate monitor, a new armband to listen to tunes while working out, a CamelBak to stay hydrated, or some new fitness clothes.
  • Give a fitness-related gift: Treat your fave person to a session with a personal trainer, a subscription to a health mag, or golf or tennis lessons. Isn't the gift of health the best gift of all?
  • Schedule the annual exam: You can preach your health concerns till you're blue in the face, but when a statement like "your high blood pressure and extra weight are putting you at risk for an early death" comes from a trusted doctor, it's a much more effective kick in the butt.
  • If all else fails, turn on the tears: Telling your other half about your unending love and wanting to live a long life together is sure to be emotional for you both and is bound to inspire a jump on the healthy boat. Use this one as a last resort.
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Join The Conversation
KeLynns KeLynns 5 years
1346107 - Maybe invite him to try something totally new to the both of you? Then you'll both be newbies, and it might interest him more than "tagging along" while you run (just like you felt like you were "tagging along" on sailing). Maybe rock climbing or hiking? Find a kickball or dodgeball league? Kayaking? Surfing?
1346107 1346107 5 years
the hardest thing for me is to find fitness activities to do together. my fiance is pretty active -- curling, golfing, sailing ( not the most intense sports, but better than nothing!) but i'm a soccer, running, team sports kinda person. I've gone sailing a couple times, but his entire family is so intense/sailing forever that I feel extremely useless and I've tried inviting him running but he "just doesn't like it"...any advice on what we can do together?
Becks4099 Becks4099 5 years
Want to find a way to feel fit and inspired with your significant other? You should both watch ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition." Tomorrow night's (Monday nights 10pm/9c) episode is going to be like never before. Chris Powell is such an inspirational leader and there are so many great tips to learn. Tune in!
dirtymartini82 dirtymartini82 5 years
I've tried all of the above and nothing has worked...I'm worried about him he's gotten to be over 300lbs with high blood pressure and he started smoking again. I bought us both personal trainer sessions to help get us in shape for our wedding but he comes home from work and sits on the couch, I can't even get him to go for a walk around the block. It's frustrating.
AZDaisy AZDaisy 5 years
I love dodgeball! That's actually HOW I met my man :) It's great fun, and a lot of people laugh at me when I say I play, but I (and he) definitely work up a lot of sweat while playing! I actually run a league in Southern California...and we have leagues all over! Check out to see if we have a league near you :)
Soniabonya Soniabonya 5 years
My husband is overweight. The doctor told him. I've been trying to get him to go on more walks and hikes but he'd rather sit on the couch and watch his movies while I go to the gym or run. Now we got a puppy though. . . . he says walking the puppy will be his exercise. . . .
KeLynns KeLynns 5 years
I think beautifulRain's suggestion is the best - just invite him to do things with you but don't make a big deal out of it if he doesn't want to. He'll probably come around. I would not advise most of the things on the article's list, except to plan fun dates. I have been on the receiving end of a lot of these sneaky tactics from several people and they did not work. It's pretty darn easy to see through fitness-based gifts, "casually" signing me up to do activities I didn't agree to, guilt trips, and crocodile tears, and when I sense someone is trying to change or control me, I get really pissed and resentful. Then I go out of my way to avoid doing whatever they want me do to, just to reinforce my autonomy.
beautifulRain beautifulRain 5 years
It took some time and some gentle suggestions but my hubby works out pretty regularly and we enjoy doing lots of active things together. I started with just inviting him on my runs, generally not expecting him to say yes, and when he turned me down, I would just say "OK, I'll be back in a few" and leave it alone. One day he actually said yes and ran with me :) Now we do lots of things - snow skiing in the winter, running, biking, swimming, waterskiing, etc in the warmer months. He even joined the gym earlier this year (he goes 2-3 times a week) and has done a couple 5Ks with me. I've been an athlete since middle school and I am at the gym 5-6 days a week. I also recently started teaching Zumba fitness classes - I guess hubby decided he needed to start doing something to keep up with me :)
punkinqueen punkinqueen 5 years
Mine stopped going to the gym for a while and in the meantime hurt his back twice in a week, once while putting his shoes on. I mentioned he'd probably hurt himself less often if he went back.
ktacce ktacce 9 years
hahhaah i love that cry is an option... hahahah
Silje Silje 9 years
I woluld love to motivate my man too.. He walks three minutes to the bus stop, and three minutes back, that's pretty much all the exercise he gets.. He also eats tons of bad food, and drinks a lot of calories, ice tea, for instance.. How to get my computer nerd that doesn't understand the point of any sport, doesn't like jogging (at least not now when it's snow outside) and will not get a membership at the student fitness center any exercise?
mtiger mtiger 9 years
Or if it's not fast food, he eats TONS of homecooked food...
mtiger mtiger 9 years
My boyfriend also isn't overweight but he never exercises! And he always eats bad food.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I like the idea of making him a spotter during weight training! That could steer guys who aren't so fitness-oriented into working out more.
Beaner Beaner 9 years
I buy my man fitness related presents, like tanks tops he can work out in, and for his birthday, I got him a nano and that Nike+ sports kit. It really motivated him to run, well, until he lost the sensor that goes in your shoe...
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
i don't like working out with brendan. we're both too competative, we just end up angry haha but we do both need to get back into a routine
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
If my boyfriend didn't have the hectic schedule he did this would be a great idea...
adelka adelka 9 years
My guy is way too busy for anyone's good- but he is staring back up with his work out routine so we work out together a few times a week now. Yay!
syako syako 9 years
Well I would not wish this on anyone's significant other - but my hubby got sick (with a cold/flu) about 3-4 weeks ago. He'd get better for about two-three days and then get sick all over again. Despite the fact that we live, sleep and do everything together I have yet to catch whatever it is he has. I've told him time and again that exercising boosts your immune system and that's why I haven't gotten whatever it is he has. So he says now that he'll get back into the routine of going to the gym when he gets better (let's just hope he does)!
merymery merymery 9 years
Moonischasingme, I have the EXACT same problem! My boyfriend isn't overweight or anything, far from it, but he eats really unhealthily and never exercises. I wish I could think of a way to get him to work out without seeming naggy.
moonischasingme1 moonischasingme1 9 years
I am constantly bugging my boyfriend to go to the gym. Although he agrees he needs to, he just...doesn't. I can't really go with him or bring him with me because my gym is only women. I am not willing to give up my gym, I like it too much. I wish there was a way I could get him to go.
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