Your partner is ready to make a positive change in their life, and you couldn’t be happier! Having the right support system can make or break a fitness endeavor, so give your partner the best chance at success with these 8 tips!
Help set realistic expectations
Health and fitness goals shouldn’t be a short term commitment. They are lifelong endeavors that need consistent, continual work. That work gets easier with time, but it is important to have realistic expectations about what can safely be accomplished in any given length of time. Any goal that is too extreme will be incredibly challenging to accomplish and maintain. Help your partner find success by keeping their expectations for progress realistic and sustainable long term.
Share the responsibilities around the home
If your partner is going to dedicate more time to their health, that naturally will leave less time for other daily responsibilities at home. Help them feel less overwhelmed by picking up the slack around the house. Whether it’s meal prepping, grocery shopping, dishes, yard care, or child care, small adjustments to the roles and responsibilities can make their journey much more sustainable.
Be the positive example
For someone new to their fitness journey, it can be challenging to stay on track. The committed mindset is like any other muscle that needs to be trained and strengthened. Make things a little easier by showing your partner how to set yourself up for success. Whether it is setting a solid sleep schedule, meal prepping, or getting your butt off the couch even when you’re not in the mood, be a positive example for your partner and invite them to join in on the fun with you.
Make it a date
Making fitness fun makes it much easier to stick with. Try to turn your time at the gym into a fun date. Complete partner workouts together, go on an active outing together like a hike or bike ride, or plan a fun event after the gym once a week, like a sushi date night. Mixing fun, bonding activities with fitness will not only improve your overall fitness levels, but your relationship as well.
Give words of encouragement
It can be easy to say things that come across as discouraging: “why didn’t you work out today?” “you’ve got to suck it up and just do it” “it’s not that hard.” While these might feel gratifying or may even be necessary to say at times, these do more damage than good for many people. Instead of calling your partner out for their shortcomings, make a habit of praising their positive efforts. Being noticed and appreciated for positive changes can have a big impact on long term consistency, and your kind words will certainly give you fewer days in the dog house.
Accept differences in opinion
This might be a hard pill to swallow, but what worked for you might not work for your partner. Just because you saw great success with Jiu Jitsu, doesn’t mean your partner will, too. A good workout is all about finding an activity that is enjoyable and effective. Perhaps that is CrossFit for you. Perhaps that is Zumba or spin classes for someone else. It is OK to have different ideas of what is fun and effective, so don’t try to force your partner to love the same things as you do.
Give something new a try
If you are wanting your partner to try something new to them, take the first step and try something new yourself. Before trying to get your partner into a CrossFit gym, maybe take a guest class at their favorite fitness spot (yes, even if that happens to be a pole dancing class). Taking the first step to try something new will make it easier for your partner to follow your positive example.
Ask how to be a better support system
Last, but likely most important, is to ASK how to be a better support system. You may have all of the positive intentions for being supportive, but if you never ask what your partner needs, you’ll never truly know if you are being as helpful as you believe yourself to be.
These small changes can have big impacts on the support your partner feels as they make positive changes to their health. If you have any other ideas of ways to help support a partner’s fitness journey, leave a comment below!