Start out small. Think about the activities that they like or used to like when they were younger, and suggest doing some of those things with them. Even an evening walk together a couple of times a week with good conversation based around goal setting can help stimulate the person enough to get them started on the right track.
Help them use fitness as a vehicle to make “fun” activities even more enjoyable. Your friends or family don’t know what they are missing out on, so help them feel the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Find activities they enjoy doing — for example, golf, dancing, playing with their grandchildren — and then use healthier choices like moderate exercise to help them up the fun of that activity. Eventually they’ll have the itch to do more.
Asking a friend or family member to adopt a healthier lifestyle can definitely be a tricky conversation. The best way to approach this is from a health perspective rather than directing the conversation toward weight or appearance. Also, it’s important to be mindful that although workouts and eating clean may come as a natural lifestyle to you, it is not easy for those just starting out. Be sensitive.
I always recommend people start by eliminating negativity from their lives, whether it be people, bad habits, or addictions, and replace them with exercise and healthy eating. This starts by surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people who are where you want to be in your own life.
Dean Brandt is a successful trainer and bodybuilder. He also co-owns Body by Brandt with his wife, Leigh.
It can be a touchy subject, but suggesting that you do something together that you both haven’t done before is very hard to say “no” to. Make it fun yet challenging, and set attainable goals together with a reward at the end.