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Mutual support key to meaningful fitness regimen that works

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Las Cruces physical therapist Dennis L. Prickett said he is frequently asked about how people can help one another to live in a more healthful way. 

“We all want our loved ones to be around forever, so from the start, they should know you’re coming from a good place,” said Prickett, owner of Atrium Physical Therapy in Las Cruces. “And, while health and exercise may be difficult topics to breach, the long-term benefits are worth the uncomfortable conversation.” 

Prickett suggests the following: 

Set an Example: Your concern will certainly carry more weight if you regularly exercise yourself. But beyond that, resolve to also set a new wellness goal or try a new activity. People are more likely to be active and try something new when someone close to them is doing the same. 

Do Activities Together: The buddy system works. Exercising and being active together will help you both be more motivated, more willing to try new things, and develop more consistency. 

Make It a Routine: Speaking of consistency, this should be part of any new effort to be more active. Creating a routine is one of the best ways to establish accountability with one another (i.e., a little positive peer pressure) and help ensure the effort is long-lasting. 

Give Healthful Gifts: This can be touchy. However, if you’re both truly on board with helping one another be more active, gifts like a yoga mat, a fitness tracker, a piece of exercise equipment or a gift certificate to try a new class or activity should be appropriate. 

Just Be Supportive: Re-establishing new routines and habits is difficult, especially if someone has been in a rut for a long period of time. Simply offering support, encouragement, a kind word, a listening ear or a compliment can go a long way. 

Also, if you discover pain or physical limitations are keeping your loved one from exercising or living a more active life, have him or her see a physical therapist. 

Following an initial assessment, a physical therapist can uncover the cause of the limitation, then establish a personalized program for treating and/or overcoming the issue in order to help them reach their goals. 

For more information, visit www.atriumpt.com