Operation Spouse Shape Up: 10 key tips

If you are already a person who’s active, exercises regularly and is healthy, congratulations!
But what if you’re spouse is not on board with a similar fitness plan? Or worse yet, they actually have an opposite, stagnant lifestyle in which he or she has gained excessive weight?
It’s important for not only their physical well-being, but the emotional health of your marriage to shape up your better half.
Here are 10 tips to begin “Operation Spouse Shape Up” today:
1 Talk about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating together.
2 Exercise as a 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.
3 Ask the doctor to talk to your spouse about their health.
4 Buy healthier food and cook smart meals instead of getting fast food.
5 Buy a workout video together, set up a home workout room or add onto what you already have with new fitness equipment.
6 Working out together can be something fun to do together and can help you both stay more committed to exercising.
7 If you’re 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.
8 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.
9 Chart your fitness goals by keeping track of when you work out. Write messages on the refrigerator to motivate yourselves.
10 Finally, 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 ore 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 aaron@athomefitness.com