At times, almost everyone can use a personal cheerleader for encouragement, inspiration, and even celebration when they successfully meet their goals.
Cheering on a friend or family member who wants to be more physically active can be a great way to show your support — and it’s easy to do.
Here are a few tips.
Be open and listen.
- For some people, becoming physically active is a big change. Applaud that first step and continue to reinforce the decision to be active.
- Listen to the challenges, brainstorm solutions, offer a pat on the back, and celebrate progress.
Help it happen.
- Go along to buy new shoes or workout clothes or to try an exercise class.
- Volunteer to take over a household errand to make time for your friend to go to her weekly basketball game.
Join in the fun.
- Walking together is a wonderful way to be active and catch up with a friend.
- Try activities that are just right for two — dance lessons or doubles tennis.
- Challenge your friend to a weekly ping-pong game. Be supportive if interruptions occur.
- Travel, illness, and work can get in the way of physical activity. Work together to find ways to get back on track as soon as possible.
A Few Don’ts
- Don’t push too hard. People need to start out at a pace that’s right for them and build up from there.
- Don’t be judgmental. Negative comments about appearance or performance can quickly halt efforts to be active.
Try making a contract with a friend to become physically active. It can help you both stick to an exercise program.