There is an art to getting others up and moving. It consists of a little bit of leading by example, some slight persuasion and a lot of persistence.
Lead by Example
This world needs people who lead by example.
Whether you are a mother, father, teacher or just a regular person, you can help others get interested in bettering their health.
The simplest way is just to do it yourself. Tell them exactly what you did and how they can do it.
Hear these words: No matter how disinterested they appear, they are watching you get better and there is something in them that wants to improve themselves. Nurture that. Pay no attention to anything bad they say.
Overweight People Are Always Thinking About Losing Weight
I have yet to find an overweight person who has not admitted to me that they want to handle their weight.
There is an outside face they put on that we all see, but they always have attention on it. Their browser history is full of “Ways to lose weight” and “Diets that are easy to follow.”
Many overweight individuals just can’t talk about it. Whether through years of bullying or comparing themselves to Instagram hotties, it is just a touchy subject for them. I have talked to plenty of overweight people in this situation.
It is interesting talking to someone about a subject that has so much charge on it. They may cry, call you an asshole or storm out of the room. They know they’re acting goofy and that someone who wants to help is not the right target. You just have to make sure that your help is help and isn’t making them feel worse about their situation.
If you force something on them, you’ll feel their wrath.
Before anything, don’t assume that they want to lose weight. Only go off what they say. If they say the words “I want to lose weight.” Then you can step in and help them.
Most of it is listening. Once you get them talking, you’ll unleash the flood gates.
Buddy up with them and do the same routine as they do. Have them meet everyone in the gym and see that they are real people. Make them part of the group. They alienate themselves very easily.
Get Them Exercise Clothes
Whether the person is trying to gain weight, lose weight, handle a heart condition or just increase their energy – they all love new clothes!
Exercise clothes are the best too, because they are so comfortable!
I have seen entire families get started and rolling with exercise just because they have new clothes for it. It sounds stupid, but it really is a great gimmick to get people started.
Find a Gym or Park or Activity and Invite Them
So let’s say you go to a yoga or pilates class at the gym. Or you go hiking every now and then.
Invite those people you’re trying to get interested.
You’ve got to make sure that they feel comfortable. Just say, “Come with me to the park. We’re going to walk around it once and come right back.”
Get creative with how you handle this one because they may have a fear of gyms or they don’t want to be seen out in the open exercising. Maybe they don’t have the right clothes, who knows?
Set Up a Free Personal Training Session for Them
As a fitness trainer, I would always, always, always make sure that my first one was free.
Any potential client of mine has the right to size me up, see if we get along and sample the services that they would be signing a contract for.
Plus, I just genuinely want to help people. Some are more difficult than others, but most can be helped who are actually trying to better their situations.
As a fitness trainer, I’m assessing how much attention you’ll need from me, how much of a risk you are as a client (medically), whether you would get along with any of my other clients and who you would be paired up with if I had you come in at a specific hour. Some clients don’t work well together. Some do great.
I’ve paired up two ladies during the same hour and they and their families ended up becoming lifelong friends. I’ve also had a client quit because he couldn’t stand another one of my clients. It is something I have to have attention on.
But nonetheless, I always try to make a new person comfortable. I make it very real to them. I show them the machines they will be using, the dumbbells and freeweights, the bathrooms and every other thing in the gym just to get them oriented.
I have them pick stuff up and put it down, I move from one side to the other.
And I give them a glimpse of how their immediate future could go if they were to train with me.
I don’t push them to sign up. I just do a lot of these free sessions so that I get the ones who are really reaching for fitness. If I pressure someone, then I usually have to babysit them and I would rather have a gung-ho client than a hand-holding client.
Cook Them a Healthy Meal That They Like
If you want to get someone to be healthy, offer them healthy options.
Instead of a carb-heavy meal, give them a salad alternative with some chicken that is dressed up real nice. It may take some experimenting and whatnot, but you’ll get to where you can whip up a good meal in no time.
The person will feel better that they didn’t eat a junk meal. That little part of them that wants a healthy body just took a win. Don’t make that big of a deal out of it, just keep letting that little guy win.
Find Out What Is Bothering Them
What do they complain about on a regular basis? I can guarantee you that most complaints people have can be handled through exercise.
It is really weird that way.
I haven’t even begun to write an article on “The Benefits of Exercise” because it would just be too long. And no matter how long it is, it would be incomplete. I wish I were joking.
It is about as backwards as writing an article about “The Benefits of Driving Your Vehicle Instead of Letting It Rot Away in the Driveway.”
So just listen to the person you want to help. They will tell you how to encourage them to exercise.
Here are some common complaints:
- I’m always tired.
- My back hurts.
- I can’t fall asleep at night.
- I’m depressed
For each of the complaints above, there is a scientific study that shows how exercise helps each.
Find the information, set up a fitness trainer to take them in for free on their first day and to walk them through what kind of exercise program will handle their complaint.
Show them it is possible. You know the saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
But the first step is leading the damn horse to the pond.
There are more ways than I can write as to how to encourage a person to start exercising.
None of them involve shaming the person.
90% of it is leading by example and making space for them to tag along.
So lead the way.