Exercise programs are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people look for ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Gyms and fitness centers now offer a variety of amenities and schedules to meet a wide range of needs, and healthcare professionals stress the importance of regular exercise programs to keep us physically and mentally fit. Even if you are on board and recognize the multiple benefits of exercise, it may be difficult to convince doubting family members to participate. So, how can we motivate family members to go to the gym?
Make the Workout Fun
A major factor in convincing anyone to begin an activity is to guarantee that it will be fun. Visiting the gym in advance to show family members that there is something for everyone and designing part of the workout as a family activity is key. Each family member needs to believe that they will be able to enjoy the exercise and complete it successfully. To ensure that the gym will meet everyone’s needs, find one that offers a variety of classes and equipment, and even amenities like swimming pools and sports’ courts. A variety of activities will prevent boredom and increase the likelihood that everyone will continue to attend.
Set Goals and Establish Rewards
Fun may be a key factor in gaining everyone’s initial interest but successful outcomes will be the reason that the family maintains attendance. For this reason, you need to begin with small goals that are achievable and there needs to be a reward attached to each level of success. The family might go out to breakfast after a morning workout or binge watch a favorite show following a late afternoon gym session. The first reward might be for simply establishing regular attendance at the gym. Then you can raise the expectations and challenge yourself to reduce weight or lower body fat. Studies have shown that extrinsic rewards create habits and so you can use them until the completion of the workout itself becomes rewarding to each person. When that occurs, family members will continue to go to the gym simply because they feel good doing it.
Make a Gym Appointment
It seems that in today’s world, every member of the family has a hectic schedule and families need to split up just to meet all the demands. It would be great if everyone could get together to go to the gym but that may not be possible. However, we do seem to make time for those things that are important and that we enjoy. With that in mind, a visit to the gym must become a scheduled event. The gym session needs to be part of the weekly calendar and family members must commit to keeping this appointment just like any other. Time of day may vary depending on the day of the week but the schedule needs to be convenient for each family member. You should also prepare for this appointment as you would for any other and lay out your clothes, gym bag, and anything else you need ahead of time.
Workout with Others
Ensuring that You Are Not Alone may be the most motivating factor. Dailyburn.com encourages us to find our “Fitness Tribe”. The tribe is the community that congratulates us on our accomplishments, and supports us through the challenging times. There is no better group to do this than family. In this environment, we are accountable not only to ourselves but to each other and that situation is very motivating. Another way to achieve this sense of community is to find a gym where employees are fairly stable and where class instructors monitor your progress. Working out with family in a caring environment makes all the time and effort worth it.