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You Asked: Is It Insulting to Get My Husband a Membership to a Gym?

Dear Fit,
Being healthy and physically fit is very important to me. I eat well, exercise four times a week, and enjoy running and practicing yoga. My husband on the other hand, is more into sitting on the couch watching TV. Not only has he put on a little weight since we got married two years ago, but I'm worried about his health. Do you think it's insulting to get him a membership to my gym?
— Concerned Cara

I'm sure many FitSugar readers can relate to your problem, and I don't blame you for wanting your loved one to be as healthy and fit as you. To hear how I'd handle this situation


It really depends on your husband's personality. If you're questioning whether he'll be insulted then that makes me think his weight and lack of interest in exercising has come up before. So it sounds like getting him a membership to your gym might be too pushy at first. Instead I would encourage him to do physical activities with you that seem less about exercise, and more about spending time together having fun. Suggest a bike ride in the country, go hiking on some nearby trails, play tennis, or start off easy with a walk around your neighborhood. Once he starts to move more, hopefully he'll realize how good it makes him feel. Then once he's hooked, you can suggest joining your gym.

If he's too stubborn for that then I'd be honest with him. Tell him how much you love him, and that you're worried about his health. Say that you wish he'd exercise regularly so that the two of you can live a long, happy life together. Tell him you were thinking about getting him a membership to your gym so you could work out together and see how he responds. If he gets defensive, then suggest just a month-long pass, just to try it out. Maybe you can find a gym that offers tons of activities that interest him, like a pool, basketball or racquetball court, or indoor soccer. He might be more willing to exercise if he knows how important it is to you, and allowing him to choose the place will make it feel more like his idea.

There's nothing wrong with a little gentle nudging and consistent encouragement, but try not to nag. Remember that you can want him to change his unhealthy habits all you want, but ultimately, it's up to him to want to make changes for himself.


Join The Conversation
missxvicious missxvicious 8 years
I agree with darc5204.These are alll good tips.I may have to save these and try them on my boyfriend
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm with spectra and syako too.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
After two years, you should have some idea of how your husband will react, and the fact that you had to ask suggests it might not be a good plan. I suggest talking candidly about it first, as many other people said, and also agree that group activities are good. If he just doesn't take an active interest, then the best you can do is to quietly stop supporting his unhealthy habits i.e. don't sit in front of the TV with him for long hours, buy his junk food, or go with him to restaurants too often.
beachgrl beachgrl 8 years
this is tough,,, i wudnt jus get him the membership right away, def talk to him about it and see how he responds. my bf has his own gym membership and i still find it soo hard to get him to go with me and exercise and even to do other activities i feel like he's always making i really feel your frustration on this one.
estahrox estahrox 8 years
It's not. It's a good gesture that shows you care about his health- just don't do it on his birthday or special occasion- that could be insulting. I would encourage him to go exercise with you. Something more to do as a couple ;) You could always reward the couch potato with the remote after an hour of exercising.
cherryblossom cherryblossom 8 years
try telling him its for his health, because you want him to take care of himself aswell so that you can be healthy together as long as you can. thats what i did to my boyfriend and it seemed to help him. just be nice about it. Dont go up to him and say your fat exercise or i wont love you anymore obviously lol, but gently nudging is ok, after all id want someone to tell me if they thought i was getting pudgy.
Rouge-Noir Rouge-Noir 8 years
How about thinking outside the box on this one? Sex is a form of excercise. It burns a lot of calories if it's done right, you don't need to go to the gym or even leave the house, and I'm quite sure he'd be open to it - most husbands would, right? Pardon me if I'm being too candid, I hope this doesn't offend anyone. I hope you find a solution that works for the both of you.
ElenaEv ElenaEv 8 years
It is not insulting, but it's not persuasive either. A double membership maybe... To go together in the same time? Whatever it requires an effort from both parts would be more persuasive.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Well, you like your husband, and your husband is like a friend, right? Would your friend be insulted if you bought them a gym membership as a "hint" to get moving? Probably. I agree with just starting to introduce little activities to get him off the couch or outdoors [if he doesn't have serious allergies]. Even walking around at events, taking the stairs instead of elevators, etc. help! Also, if your husband is just sitting around watching TV and generally not engaging with you or in other areas of his life, he may have some personal issues he is struggling with and avoiding by overeating and drowning in TV. Maybe sit and have a chat and see if there's not something that's seriously bothering him first, before trying to get him moving? He could be depressed, and prodding him into a gym or even doing some more activities might send a negative message.
ImJessica ImJessica 8 years
Try the gentle route first - i.e. fun active activities "just to spend time together." If after a few months it doesn't work, you need to be honest, like fleurfairy said. If he realizes you're not as attracted to him, he'll want to do something about it.
moonischasingme1 moonischasingme1 8 years
I think it is a wonderful gift if he is committed to actually going.
Little-Miss-Jay Little-Miss-Jay 8 years
I agree with everyone else. I wouldn't just go and buy the membership without talking to him first. Could you go to the gym together? My parents hired a personal trainer and work out almost every day together.
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
I don't think it's insulting to get a gym membership for him, but it's probably best to talk to him first. If he's not into exercising then the gym membership will be a waste of money. Maybe you can help him be more active by doing active things together on your downtime/weekends like bike riding, walking around the neighborhood or hiking.
ChristinaVal ChristinaVal 8 years
Don't waste the money!! Living an active lifestyle is a mental change that won't happen just because you get him a membership! I agree with Spectra - get him out doing things that he likes! about "forget" to pay the cable bill...LOL! :)
lollofit lollofit 8 years
Ooooh fit guru- I like the idea of bringing out his competitive side! Sounds like fun too. These are all good suggestions for any other family members too- I like trying to gets my parents off the couch when I visit!
The-Fitness-Guru The-Fitness-Guru 8 years
I have seen many wives waste a great deal of money all in the name of trying to get their husbands in shape. And 9 out of 10 male egos can't take the hint. Best to go after activities that would interest him ("why don't you go for a run with one of your friends" or "why don't we go dancing tonight") but an even better idea is to get an activity-based video game, like the Wii or DDR, and challenge him to compete. Most of my friends can't resist a video game competition. It's in our genetic make-up.
syako syako 8 years
What spectra said. :D My husband is the same way although his incredible metabolism means he doesn't gain a pound (and sometimes loses them). Anyway, this past weekend he bought a mountain bike. Immediately I noticed a change in him. He was geared up and ready to go riding first thing on Sunday. I went along and did a long run while he went and explored the mountain. It was awesome. Now when he walks by the bike I hear him saying "I can't wait to get out there again." Point being, find something he likes and go from there.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
My husband is in the same boat...he's gained about 20 lbs or so since we got married. He doesn't like to work out, plus he works long hours and comes home from work tired a lot. I think if I bought him a gym membership, it wouldn't do a lot of good because he would never go. The key is to find an activity your husband actually likes to do and go from there. My husband actually does like to ride his bike, so I've been suggesting that we bike more this summer to stay active together. Maybe your husband likes sports...encourage him to join a local team or club to get some fun and physical activity into his day. It might be a little more productive than just getting him a gym membership.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I wouldn't just go out and get him a membership. There's the chance that he would be insulted, and that you'd waste the money on something that wouldn't be used. I'd try talking to him first. Not that it's guaranteed to work either, but always worth a try.
wmoonw wmoonw 8 years
I'm reading into it a bit, but it sort of sounds like he doesn't really want to exercise, and if that's the case, even if you get him the gym membership, he probably wouldn't go anyway. If he's given you a reason to think he'd want it, maybe said something to the effect of, "I wish I had access to a treadmill" or "I miss lifting weights", then he'd probably appreciate it, but otherwise, it might be unappreciated. You could always ask him if he's interested! Or tell him you'd enjoy playing squash or taking a class with him, and ask if he'd join to be your partner! Then, it's less about his belly and more about your couples time, and he's still got access to the gym if he catches the fitness bug.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
If he's your husband, I would be honest. "Honey, I've noticed you have gained weight and you aren't active at all. It's a turn-off." Lol maybe I'm too blunt, but that's what I would say.
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