Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
So, you are either fit and fabulous or well on your way… but you see your spouse, children, or friends who could benefit from some healthy advice and a little push in the right direction. How do you get them motivated to follow your lead?
The first thing you should not do is nag or brag. I have long believed that nagging and belittling is not a good motivator because it doesn’t evoke people’s free will into changing unhealthy habits. Being direct in a kind and honest way will probably get you further than making the person feel bad about themselves. The key is to set them up for success not failure.
As you prepare to engage your fitness-challenged friend keep these three things in mind:
1. You should be focused on the person’s overall health rather than just the physical appearance. Looking good is a natural byproduct of a change to a healthy lifestyle, but it should not be the only goal. Often people give up when they fail to fit into those skinny jeans within a few weeks into their program. If the focus is placed on health versus appearance, your friend will be less likely to quit when they experience those normal negative body-issue days!
2. Encourage them to adopt eating and fitness habits that are well within their comfort zone – not yours. Just because a diet and exercise routine works for you does not mean it will work for your friend. Be supportive of whatever positive efforts they make in order to get healthy and fit.
3. One of the best ways you can help a person to seek a healthier lifestyle is through example and encouragement. Share your journey with them. Your ups and downs. The benefits you have experienced now that you are making healthier choices, such as feeling better, experiencing less aches and pains, better flexibility. And share with them how you conquer those setbacks and temptations.
By being their mentor and biggest cheerleader you are more likely to inspire someone you love to a happier, healthier, and longer life.
For more fitness inspiration from Maruchy Lachance check out:
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