Here are some ways to encourage your family members to join you in regular physical activity and exercise:
• Lead by example. Commit to a reasonable program of physical activity, and let your family members see you sticking to it. Talk to them about the barriers you face and how you have dealt with them. Show them it’s possible to work around obstacles and to get started again after setbacks.
• Talk to your family about the benefits of physical activity and exercise. If you have Type 2 diabetes, help your blood relatives understand that they are at risk for developing the disease and that regular physical activity can potentially prevent it or at least postpone its onset.
• Discuss the various types of physical activity and exercise and the value of each. When exercising with family members who have been sedentary, emphasize the importance of warming up at the beginning of the workout, stretching your joints and muscles only after you’ve warmed up, and cooling down at the end of the workout to allow your heart rate to gradually return to its resting pace. Remind your relatives to increase the duration and intensity of their activity slowly to avoid injury and burnout. And keep portable carbohydrate sources handy for family members with diabetes who are at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
• Talk to your family members about ways to incorporate more physical activity into the time you spend together. Make sure everyone gets a chance to say what he’d enjoy doing. And remember to tell your family how much you enjoy their company and how supported you feel when they participate in something that’s important to you.