Five fitness tips to help your spouse shape up

The issue of having one person in a marriage or relationship who’s physically fit and another who doesn’t exercise very often is more common than people think.
It can also cause some problems for couples.
It’s important for not only your partner’s physical well-being, but the emotional health of your marriage to shape up your better half.
Here are five tips to help shape up your spouse:
1. Talk about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating together. Get on the same page.
2. Make healthier eating choices, such as buying healthier food and cooking smart meals instead of getting fast food.
3. Exercise as a couple and-or family. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or park, hike on a trail, or try a bike ride together. Associate with other healthy couples or families. Working out together can be something fun to do together and can help you both stay more committed to exercising. Consider investing in home fitness equipment, such as a treadmill, elliptical machine and-or home gym.
4. If your spouse is reluctant to discuss fitness, it gets tougher to get on the same page. You may have to be more creative in nudging them toward fitness. You can’t push someone to do something they don’t want to do. Perhaps you can take your spouse to healthier restaurants, or on dates that involve being more active. Ask him/her to take a dance class, who would pass that up? Or plan a day at a national park where you’ll be active.
5. Set goals as a couple and chart your progress. Set a goal as a couple that if you work out together for a certain time period you’ll reward yourselves — the prize could be something like a vacation, new clothes or a TV. Chart your fitness goals by keeping track of when you work out. Write messages on the refrigerator to motivate yourselves.
Don’t give up on your spouse without trying. Keep working on them to turn toward fitness, but always try to encourage instead of criticize.
Although it takes effort and sacrifice sometimes to stay physically fit, you’ll have a lot more fun in your marriage if you’re both in good shape.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at