How to encourage your friends to get active; without causing offence

Take a look at your circle of friends. Do they like to get physically active? Are they motivated to get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day? Or do you notice that exercise just isn't a part of their routine? Actually, is it even part of yours?


There is so much research on why exercise is good for us, but we also know that some people just don't get their recommended 30 minutes a day, for all sorts of reasons.


If you get the feeling your friends may need a push or some extra help in the exercise department, then maybe you can have a word in their ear. You could brainstorm ways to get active together to make sure it happens. If you're having trouble finding something they like, tell them you'll come along to any wacky exercise adventure and give it a go too!


So how do you start this conversation? How do we encourage our not-so-active-friends to get active without causing offence?


Firstly, approach it gently, and see if your friend is interested in doing exercise. It may not be on their radar right now due to work or family commitments, but you can be there for them when they're ready to make a healthy change.


If they're open to giving it a go, commit to a weekly exercise session together. This will help your friend to make exercise a part of their regular routine.


Diabetes Queensland's Exercise Physiologist Kathryn Kirchner says, "a buddy system is definitely the way to go to motivate your friends to get moving outdoors, at home or in the gym". 


"Working out with friends is not only a great way to get fit and healthy, but also a great way to socialise and catch up on the gossip or have a laugh. An added benefit for our health and wellbeing".


"There is such a variety of fun and enjoyable activities people can now do, and sharing the experience with your friends is just an added 'bonus''.


Kathryn also recommends setting goals for exercise.


"Sharing this goal with others makes you accountable and makes you more likely to achieve that goal. For example, your first goal could be as simple as texting each other the night before to set the intention to meet the next day. Small steps for long term gain!"