Supporting and Inspiring Your Partner in a Healthy Lifestyle
When you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult if your partner is not on board. Similarly, you might be healthy but worry about your partner’s bad habits. This can be a tricky conversation to have in relationships, but we’ve got some tips to help you make a start.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important – whether we’re in a couple or we’re still looking for love on dating or hookup sites. Healthy lifestyle habits like exercise, a nutritious diet, and good mental health awareness can help us live longer, more fulfilling lives. If you love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle, you are likely in for a happier life.
However, when we love our partners, we also want them to be healthy and happy so that we can enjoy a long, full life together. As couples, we don’t always find ourselves on the same page with our partners health-wise. Maybe we love to workout, eat well, and lead a healthy lifestyle, and our partners love junk food and vegging out.
This can also change as couples get older. Maybe you used to adore hiking together, but now, one of you has a busy job and just doesn’t have the energy. Or, perhaps, kids and family pressures have taken a toll, and now you eat take-out six nights a week. Whatever the case, it can be tricky to discuss healthy lifestyle choices with your loved one. They may feel attacked or insecure if you bring lifestyle changes up. Here are some things you can try that don’t involve piling on the pressure!
How to Encourage Your Partner to Live a Healthy Lifestyle?
When people are in long-term relationships, it’s easy for complacency to set in. People develop routines, get into habits. Maybe, your partner didn’t have good healthy role models growing up, or they may have underlying mental issues that encourage bad habits. For this reason, discussing healthy lifestyle changes with them can feel like a minefield.
On top of this, asking someone to change their eating or exercise habits can feel like nagging. People can dig their heels in and may become increasingly frustrated with you if you continue to press the issue. However, you may think that it is too important not to be discussed. After all, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are multifaceted and impact everyone in your life! If you’re really serious about overhauling your and your partner’s habits, here are 8 healthy lifestyle tips you can try:
1 Take Responsibility for Yourself First
Remember the old cliché – put your own oxygen mask on before helping other people? Well, this is never truer than when it comes to the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ dilemma. The health and lifestyle industry in general is full of people telling others what they should do. Many find this off-putting and certainly don’t want this in their partner.
If you want to change your lifestyle, it’s reasonable to ask (and need) your partner’s support. However, you cannot make your healthy lifestyle changes contingent on them also changing. If you have different views on the matter, focus on helping yourself first. Take up a new workout routine or start cooking healthier meals for yourself. This way, you avoid burdening your partner with your health – which is your responsibility – plus, you set a good example for your partner to potentially follow.
2 Address the Underlying Causes
If your partner drinks too much, smokes, or eats unhealthy food, this is understandably a cause for concern. However, your partner probably knows this already. Deep down, many people who lead unhealthy lifestyles want to make a change, but their emotional problems prevent them from doing this.
Rather than assuming that your partner is greedy or lazy, try asking them about what motivates their behavior. Remember, they might not be fully aware of why they do certain things and may struggle to come to terms with this. Taking care of mental health is just as important as living a healthy lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to suggest options like therapy if you think this can help.
3 Learn to Cook
When it comes to healthy lifestyle facts, diet is the one thing that trips us all up. There are endless fads telling us what to eat and what to avoid, and the sheer amount of information can be confusing. However, one of the best ways to ensure you and your partner eat well is to learn to cook whole foods.
Whole foods tend to be lower in calories and are generally healthier than processed foods. Learning to cook together can be a fun way to improve your health and to enjoy some time together. Recipes like healthy vegetable soups, stews, or curries are great to start with!
4 Be Flexible
Remember, when it comes to health and fitness, everyone is different. You might find it easy to start a healthy lifestyle, but your partner may struggle with it. A daily run might be too much for them, but yoga a few days a week might suit them fine. Stay open to trying many things and don’t assume they’re not trying if they have different limits.
5 Avoid Judgment/Blame
Living a healthy lifestyle in a relationship can be tough. You’ll understandably be influenced by your partner and their behaviors. You may also find yourself judging your partner’s unhealthy lifestyle choices if you have taken up brand new ones.
Blaming your partner, or holding them responsible for your health, is a sure-fire way to breed resentment in a couple. As is judging them or looking down on them for the way they live. If you only try to encourage them, remember to remind your better half of this. People can be sensitive about their health habits, so don’t assume they will interpret everything the way you mean it. Open communication is important for this, and you should try to remain sensitive and accepting of your soulmate.
6 Reward Yourselves
If you’re wondering how to live a healthy lifestyle, one tip is not to go from 0-100 all at once. Many people think healthy habits need to be grueling and inflexible. You either eat perfectly all the time or fail.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the best lifestyle changes are gradual, manageable, and still allow you to treat yourself from time to time. If you’ve started a new workout schedule, remember to pencil in rest days. If you’re on a new diet, find healthy versions of snacks you used to love.
Better yet, discover ways to reward yourself that don’t hit your triggers. For example, if you’re prone to overeating, rewarding yourself with food could trigger negative eating habits. If you’ve eaten well and worked out for a few days in a row, reward yourself by taking a long bath or watching a film you love. You could also set aside fun workouts – like a dance workout or walk somewhere nice – and fit these in on days when you don’t feel like hitting it too hard. Regular rewards can also make great healthy lifestyle motivation to keep you on track to hit your goals.
7 Make It Something You Do Together
Over time, it can be tough for couples to stay connected and find new interests together. If you’ve never been into healthy lifestyle activities before, this is something you can explore and discover together. While it might be hard work, try to see this as an opportunity to bond and learn something new about each other.
You might find you love hillwalking or enjoy playing a team sport. Having a shared hobby can boost your interest in each other and lead to a more fulfilling relationship. Definitely worth it for a healthier life!
8 Be Supportive
Remember, everyone’s journey to a healthy lifestyle is going to look slightly different. The most important thing: when you embark on a health and fitness journey as a couple, support each other. If you both appreciate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, you can be there cheering each other on through the change.
Having two people involved in the journey can also make it easier when things get hard. You’re less likely to fall back into bad habits or get demoralized by setbacks if you’re helping each other. You can come up with creative solutions to each other’s problems. For example, if one person is struggling with their eating, you could suggest healthy lifestyle apps that help you track your calories. Alternatively, you could come up with new ideas for workouts that you can try together. Having a workout buddy can help you reach your goals and feel accountable when you show up every day!
If you love living a healthy lifestyle, it’s understandable to want your partner to come along for the ride. However, it’s important to remember that’s what’s right for you may not be right for everyone. Instead of pushing your perspective, keep a flexible, supportive approach to health in your relationship, and you’re likely to find yourselves raring to go!
Final Call: Do you struggle to stay motivated when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle? Does your partner struggle with health and fitness? How do you work on this together? Tell us in the comments!
Rebecca Shinn is a freelance writer and dating and relationship expert with a psychology degree. Her field of expertise is relationship, dating, and marriage. The important part of Rebecca’s practice is to help couples with communication skills, problem-solving skills, stress management, or financial skills.
Rebecca started writing 2 years ago to inspire and help people to have a better dating life, healthy relationships, or find a way to keep a marriage strong for long years.
With all said above, Rebecca is proud to be a mother and a wife so she doesn’t only use her knowledge for helping others but keeping her family strong and happy.