Have you ever tried to motivate those around to get active and received a less-than-desirable response? This happens to me all the time, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying; I’ve just changed my approach.
When you’re passionate about health, it’s natural to take interest in the health of others. However, doing so without tact is unwise. If you try and force someone to come to join you chances are you’ll scare them off, which is the opposite of what you want.
One simple way I’ve found that makes exercise more fun is to make it a challenge or a game. For instance, parents can challenge their kids to pick up all the loose toys around the house. The winner receives an appropriate reward be it a trip to the zoo or a special outing to their favorite restaurant.
For couples without kids, challenging each other with little contests can be a great way to inspire each other toward health and foster intimacy. On a recent jog with my husband, I suggested a sprint challenge. Whoever won two sprints out of three got to decide where we ate that night. My husband won by a long shot, so Chipotle for dinner it was; although I think we both won with that healthy dinner choice.
My point is, if you make exercise enjoyable and fun, perhaps those around you will join you in health more often. The following are just a few ideas to help make exercise something your entire household or group of friends will want to join you in. Sometimes the way you present the idea makes all the difference.
Dance party – If your family ever listens to music at home, crank it up every once and a while and have an impromptu dance party. I do this all the time no matter how many silly looks I get. Life is short, dancing is fun, a body in movement stays in movement: so may reasons to turn your living room into your own personal dance floor.
Push-up contest – Quick! After breakfast challenge your kids or your spouse to a push-up contest. See who can get to 25 first with good form, or start doing push ups at the same time and see who lasts the longest. Determine the prize based on the winner’s preferences. This little game is sure to get your household in motion every time.
Stair climb – Some people dread stairs, but I embrace them as an excellent way to tone all the muscles in my legs and get my heart pumping. Propose a race up the stairs in your apartment or home. Or visit a local stadium and race your friends to the top. The winner can determine a post “workout” snack, or the next challenge if they choose.
Rake the leaves – Fall is almost upon us which means leaves will be blanketing our lawns soon. Challenge your kids to raking them into organized piles – see who can do it the quickest, the most orderly, or the most creatively. Reward the winner with a dessert or healthy snack of their choice – you’ll be surprised how quickly their rakes will move!
Grocery dash – Have you ever tried to carry all the groceries into the house yourself? It’s quite a task. Instead, ask your kids to help and whoever gets their grocery bag inside and unloaded first (safely, of course) is the winner! Pick a prize that benefits everyone so you’re likely to get a positive response from the group the next time a grocery trip is in order.
September 8th, 2012