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5 Strategies to Improve Your Partner’s Health Habits

It is a very common complaint I hear from my clients who are making wellness a priority that their partner is simply not on board the health train with them
Sep 2, 2014 | Joy McCarthy

It is a very common complaint I hear from my clients who are making wellness a priority that their partner is simply not on board the health train with them. This complaint is well warranted because research shows us we are more likely to develop the same habits as our partner. On the bright side it's not just the bad habits that are contagious, but research shows health habits are contagious too!

If you are reading this thinking "this is me Joy, I'm healthy and my partner couldn't care less about exercise or eating well" then I've got some strategies to get your partner on board the health train with you!

Inspire by doing.

This is true for parents wishing their children to be healthier too. I hear all too often people wish their kids would make healthier choices and yet they are eating junk themselves. If you want to teach someone how to be healthy, than be healthy yourself. And of course, you have plenty of meal inspiration and ideas right here on Joyous Health and in my book.

Baby steps.

Most diets fail because making a 360-degree change in one day can be overwhelming and it’s simply not sustainable. Baby steps are the key to lasting change and I’ve seen this proven time and time again over the last five years I’ve been consulting my clients. Here’s an idea for you… Tomorrow why not do something nice for your partner and make them a yummy smoothie! Starting out on the right foot for the day puts you in a much better position mentally and physically to make better choices. That beer and chicken wings may not look as appealing to your partner when they had a smoothie for brekkie and this chopped salad!

Have fun in the kitchen together!

My husband Walker and I often help each other out with meal prep. It's more fun when you do it together! We've grown healthier as a couple because we do it together. Make it a special Friday night date or visit a farmer's market on a Saturday morning to buy all the ingredients for an amazing meal together. Or surprise your partner with a healthy Sunday breakfast like one of these wonderful ideas.

Play together!

There are days when I'm tired and feel lazy or vice versa, Walker feels like watching TSN all morning. We encourage each other. The weekend was a perfect example. I was feeling tired from a busy week but Walker wanted to go for a bike ride. We compromised by deciding upon a short bike ride out to the Beaches. However, it was SO great to be outside in the sunshine and fresh air that we ended up going for a 3-hour bike ride! I was so glad we did!

Which leads me to my final point...

Encourage each other, but don't be a nag.

You've likely been at the receiving end of someone nagging you to do something, like your partner reminding you over and over again to fold your laundry or take out the garbage. When asked over and over to do something most people may end up doing the opposite. Don’t be a nag! Instead, encourage your partner by reminding them how good they will feel to have a smoothie for breakfast or go for a weekend bike ride.

I hope these strategies help get your partner on the health train. And good for you for caring so much about your partner's health and well-being! Don't give up.

Have a joyous day,


Sep 2, 2014 BY Joy McCarthy
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