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How do I convince my over-protective parents to let me exercise?

107 Answers
Last Updated: 11/10/2021 at 6:40pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous - Expert in Exercise Motivation
July 30th, 2016 6:52pm
Why wouldn't a parent let their child excercize?? Tell them to Google why a child needs excersize.
Anonymous - Expert in Exercise Motivation
October 9th, 2016 2:58am
Do some homework before your next conversation with them about it. Make a list of the benefits excerising will have for you, and the benefits it will have for them. To be fair, make a list of any negative effects you can think of for you, and for them as the result of your exercise plans. This will help you see the issue objectively from their side which might help you find a better negotating ground. Ask yourself: why do I really, really want to exercise? Finally, consider some common ground you'd be willing to settle for in case things do not end completely in your favor. For example, consider suggesting that you only exercise at facilities or parks they agree on, or only on certain days or at certain times, for example. Be creative. Utimately, try not to be disappointed if they're still adamant. You can do little things at home to help exercise, like lifting heavy books, running in place to your favorie msuic, walking around the outside of the building, and so on! One day you will have the freedom to decide this for yourself, so you will always have that to look forward to.
Anonymous - Expert in Exercise Motivation
October 30th, 2016 9:57am
You need to explain them that exercise is good for you and your health. You need to tell them that you will be safe and I good hands, so they don't need to be worried.
- Expert in Exercise Motivation
November 3rd, 2016 10:14am
Exercise is natural. Your body was made to be strong. It helps you think better. You could indeed get hurt exercising, but you could get hurt while walking around. People who run a lot get a runner's high, it is a feeling that is comparable to high end drugs, but is absolutely good for you.People who exercise at least moderately are less stressed, feel better, sleep easier, are generally happier, and can think better.
August 7th, 2016 6:51am
You should first ask why your parents are preventing you from exercise. Are you underweight, an under-eater, accident-prone, or have an eating disorder? If so, don't try to convince your parents to let you exercise, and instead work with them to resolve your problems first. Then move on to incorporate exercise into your healthy lifestyle.
September 8th, 2016 7:21am
You tell them it's what you need to do to be healthier. You let them know, *in a compassionate understanding tone* that it's about mental health, and physical health, and that YOU NEED it.
August 26th, 2018 3:45am
Try to have a talk with them. Let them see your point of view, and how that would give you such an incredible experience and let you able to learn more than just being protected by someone. Being able to go through an experience yourself is hundred times more useful than being told about it or staying in your comfort zone. Making this point clear to your parents could be helpful. Also, you could let them know that by that way they are only making you depend on them, and not letting you see the world or depending on yourself, so that you can act in hard situations.
August 4th, 2016 2:52pm
Tell them you care about your health and that it is an important issue for you. If at this point they are still overly concerned then ask if possible they can monitor the exercise.
September 7th, 2016 3:09am
Explain the many physical and cognitive benefits in engaging in working out and try to stick to safer work outs :)
January 8th, 2017 8:09am
My parents were actually like that too. They were always afraid of me getting injured and thus were very opposed to my decision to join the cross country/track team at my school, and would constantly find ways to prevent me from continuing my training. However, had I not convinced them to allow me to sign up for these sports in high school, I would most likely not have developed the character traits and experiences that I have now. What is it that your parents are afraid of? If they have the same fears as my parents, you can assure them that you will be careful about injury prevention (be sure to follow up on your words, too, though!) There are many ways that you can prevent yourself from getting hurt on the field or even when you are at the gym for a simple workout (you can look them up online or consult a personal trainer or coach!) Not only will you prevent your own injuries from occurring, you become a stronger individual. Also, have you told your parents about the many benefits of exercising? If done properly, there are many benefits to working out or playing a team sport (depending on what it is you want to do), physiologically, mentally, and emotionally. If you are part of a team sport, you learn how to collaborate with other people which is an important skill to have later in life. In any sport, you learn how to set goals for yourself and persevere in the face of obstacles. Letting your parents know about these advantages may help to better convince them.
August 3rd, 2016 1:28am
Research on the benefits of exercise and share it with them and also look for exercises that you can do together as a family and maybe you can make it a family thing.
August 6th, 2016 12:49pm
Tell them, that you want to start exercising because you care about your health and that it's important to you.
August 12th, 2016 7:43pm
How about just ask them if you can go and run in the garden or play or have an ice cream. Kick a ball around.
September 7th, 2016 7:05pm
Let them know that it is going to keep you healthy and maybe offer them to come along at the begining until they feel comfortable that you are okay to do it on your own.
September 25th, 2016 1:29pm
They protect you, because they want you to be well. If you exercise it might even make this task easier for them as you would be happier. Try showing them it. Have a nice day!
October 1st, 2016 5:48am
Prove what you are capable of doing to them, as they will continue to doubt your ability regardless of how much you argue.
October 12th, 2016 5:09pm
Exercise is very good for your body, and it's very healthy. Not everyone has the motivation to exercise. Tell them they should be happy for you! You can exercise at home, if public places is a problem for them or something :)
November 25th, 2016 3:19am
I'm not really sure about what to say because I have over protective parents as well, and they encourage me to exercise, but you can tell them that exercise has tons of benefits such as making your heart healthier, making you stronger, making you healthier mentally as well, boosting confidence, burning calories and strengthening your muscles, reducing stress, and sweating out toxins. Also keep in mind that there are many different ways to exercise, and I don't understand why they wouldn't let you exercise at all. For example, there are many exercises that you can do on your couch or in your bed whole you are watching tv or doing homework or something like that. You can find tons of different at-home workouts on youtube (such as the Icon UK channel that includes short, easy workouts and fun, easy dance workouts.)
December 18th, 2016 7:04am
I would first speak to them to ask about what it is they're being over-protective about and try to understand their viewpoint. Then, try to get them to understand your viewpoint, whatever it is, such as reasons for exercising and so on. It's important not to just dismiss what they say as 'crazy', even if most people would consider it so. Compromise when you have to and try to find some way of exercising that they will agree to.
February 5th, 2017 10:31pm
Tell them the benefits of exercising and how important it is for you. If ever, start slowly and gradually so they can notice the goodness it does on you.
February 17th, 2017 4:50pm
Exercising is an important part of having a healthy lifestyle, so it's great to hear you're interested in starting! If your parents are concerned about you exercising outside or using equipment, there are plenty of indoor aerobic workouts which you can find online that need a few square feet of floor but no equipment. Also, having a workout/running buddy might make exercising even more fun and relieve some of your parent's concerns. Finally, it might help to talk to them about what they are worried about, so you can both figure out a plan that works for your health and safety. Good luck!
March 3rd, 2017 12:07pm
I think the best way to go about this is to show your parents that you have a range of things to do in your spare time, as well as exercising. Take up a hobby to do alongside exercising! Also, make sure you parents can see that you are already looking after your body and eating enough. Be sure to tell your parents where you will be working out so they know that you are safe.
March 11th, 2017 12:51am
Explain to them that you understand their concerns, yet explain why you would like to exercise and why it is so important to you! For example: Explain to them the health benefits both physically and emotionally, or explain that you find it pleasurable.
March 22nd, 2017 5:46am
Prove to them that you need exercise. Show your dedication by exercising at home with pushups or situps and write up a schedule. Have goals
April 20th, 2017 8:31am
Be honest about what you want to do and why and ask them to explain what their fears are. When you have listened to their fears and understood what they want, you can begin to negotiate and find a middle ground that would be acceptable to you and them. Start small and maybe you can show them that they need not be too worried after all.
April 25th, 2017 8:13pm
My parents would not let me exercise because of my poor health history. They were afraid that I would hurt myself. So we had a conversation detailing my exercise plans and mapping out the pros and cons of the situation. Once their fears were addressed and my interests were brought forward they were much more open to the idea. I started with small routines and as my parents became more comfortable with those they became more open to gradual increases in my routine. We eased in to a compromise.
May 14th, 2017 2:28pm
Well since exercising is an extremely beneficial activity for you mind and body, you could give them the research if you think they'll respond to that. Look up credible articles to show them why moving your body helps you. But if that route doesn't help, I encourage you to be assertive (not agressive) in trying to attain your independence here. Explain that exercising is something that you want. Hope this helps
June 7th, 2017 5:13pm
Try to get them to exercise with you. Involving them is a great bonding experience and it'll make them feel like they are a part of your life
June 8th, 2017 10:24am
It really depends on the situation. If you have a health condition because of which your parents are so protective over you, it means that you have to listen to them, because it means that your parents want you to be safe and stay healthy. But if you don't have any health condition that prevents you from exercising and your parents are only afraid that you are not strong enough to exercise, you might try to explain them how exercising would make you stronger.
June 17th, 2017 11:16am
Try listing every single benefit you can think of (mentally and physically), things that benefit both you and them. Have an outline of the sort of exercise you want to do and figure out transportation and give them lots of information. This way it shows that you're ready to make a commitment. Sit your parents down and talk to them. Be clear and get straight to the point. Good luck!