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Fitness: Help an Unenthusiastic Partner to Join In

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Fitness Unenthusiastic Exercise Family

So, you have chosen the activity, bought the equipment, signed up for lessons and encouraged your children to get excited about the new sport you are all going to play as a family. But when it comes to Saturday morning, everyone is ready bar one person – your partner.

All of your best-laid plans could go out of the window because your partner is unenthusiastic. Therefore, you need to crack the problem and decide how you are going to help an unenthusiastic partner to join in. After all, if you have planned the activity as a way of spending more time together as a family and cultivating a shared interest, then you will need all members of the family to join in. Your partner will also be setting an example to the children – if they see that mum or dad is not enthusiastic then they are far less likely to want to join in with the activity themselves.

Establish Why They Are Unenthusiastic

If you want to help your partner to join in your family fitness routine then the first thing to do is establish exactly why they are so reluctant. There are many reasons why they may not be keen. If it is because they think they are out of shape and unfit they will need your support to be brave enough to give the exercise a go. They could well be self conscious about how they will look when exercising so it is important to make sure that they know you are all in it together, regardless of how good or bad any of you are.

It may be that they are not keen on the activity you have chosen. This is why it is important to make sure they are included in all decisions before you settle on a sport to take up as a family.

Of course, it could be that they are reluctant to join in because they are lazy. In this case, the best thing to do is have a little patience with them and ease them into it little by little. If you have chosen swimming as your activity, you could start with a session in the family pool one Saturday afternoon and build up little by little until you are taking part in more strenuous sessions.

Involve Them Every Step of the Way

If the fitness project is a family project and a true joint endeavour then everyone should be involved every step of the way and this includes your partner. Therefore, when you are choosing the activity, make sure your partner has a say in the matter. If they are not overly enthusiastic about an idea then ask what they would like to do. There are plenty of activities to choose from so it is perfectly possible to find one to suit everyone.

They should also be involved in other aspects of the routine such as scheduling and cost. Make sure every decision you take to do with your new fitness routine is one taken as a family, so your partner knows from the outset exactly how much it costs and how much time you will be devoting to it.

It is as important to get your partner fully on board, as it is your children. So that is why it is quite so vital to make sure you understand why they are reluctant if that is the case. Have a little patience with them and coax them around until they are in agreement that a family fitness routine is a great idea for everyone concerned.

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