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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
Moderated by

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
December 30th, 2020 11:43pm
When parents are over-protective, that's when things can get harder to manage. I would make a couple of suggestions in this case: Get to know more about your parents and their intentions. How come they do not let you exercise? Do you fear that you will hurt yourself? Do they think the environment such as a gym or the public in general is unsafe for you? The next step would be to understand them, because understanding and empathizing is key to persuading. Demonstrate to your parents through other tecniques how you are able to take general care of yourself, and show them how happy and motivated you are to exercise. Once they come to realize your true motivation and self-responsibility, and they come to understand how happy this makes you, it is time to then compromise with them and come up with a solution that will satisfy both sides.
January 17th, 2021 12:36am
For me, having the right mindset is a really good first step. That mindset is that I am just trying to explain why I want to do something (like exercise) instead of trying to convince them. If I go in trying to convince them, I end up getting more and more upset if they refuse to change their mind. In focusing on why I want to do something (like exercise), it not only reminds me of why I want to do it and makes me more determined, but it gets my parents to take me seriously and consider why I want to do it. I have to accept that my parents will likely not say yes the first time. However, if I listen to their reasoning every time I talk about it (or lack thereof), I am better prepared the next time I talk to acknowledge that I heard them and also provide my own reasoning on top of that which seems to work far better than arguing. People really just want to know you are listening and not just ignoring them and simply fighting them.
January 23rd, 2021 6:50pm
You could sit down with them in a serious manner (but still remain calm, collected, and as kind and genuine as you can be) and tell them how important it is to you to exercise for your health and mental well-being. If they start to argue or raise their voice, try to remain as calm as you can even if it becomes it's difficult. This will show how much exercise it means to you. I hope that your parents come to an understanding and see it from your perspective! Best of luck to you and I'm rooting for you!
February 21st, 2021 4:00am
Have you tried having an open conversation with them? Do you know why they are acting overprotective? If I were in your shoes I would have a conversation and explain why this is important to you. Perhaps you can also have a list ready of questions they may ask you in regards to your need for exercise. If they are afraid of your safety or you going overboard maybe you can chart out an exercise plan so they know exactly what you are planning to do. Do you think they would be interested in exercising with you? It is worth a try!
March 10th, 2021 6:15pm
Sometimes our parents (who generally want the best for us) can be a little overzealous when it comes to keeping us safe. This can, at times, prevent us from doing things that we want to do or need to do for ourselves. If your parents' over-protective natures are preventing you from exercising, it may help to sit down with them and have a conversation about why exercise is important for you, both physically and mentally/emotionally. Exercise has many health benefits. It can help with increasing feelings of well-being and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular and metabolic system. It can even prevent diseases that result from an unhealthy lifestyle. If your parents learn about all the protective effects of exercise and how it can help you stay healthy, perhaps they will be more likely to allow you to exercise.
March 14th, 2021 1:37pm
Here is an explanation without having any other context of why your parents might not allow you to exercise... Explain to your parents how exercise can improve mood. Exercise triggers endorphins which gives the body a positive feeling. Positivity encourages happiness to all those around you. Don't take my word for it - conduct some of your own research and determine the benefits of exercise. Of course, it is important to set a limit to how much exercise you are doing and this may be an important point to address with your parents. Exercise should be done with care to avoid injury or other health concern. You must exercise according to your comfort level and not exceed too far above your current fitness level. The intensity of your exercise, along with the length of time you exercise must not be too difficult that it causes any pain/injury. Also keep in mind that any equipment may be heavy and dangerous if it were to fall on you or someone else. If you are not going to an established fitness facility, it may be wise to set up an area of your own which has the space, comfort and safety for your fitness needs. If you are exercising outside and it requires being away from the house (such as jogging), explain to your parents what route you will be taking and at what times. One of the best ways to make another comfortable with what you plan to do is to ensure that they know what your idea is. It may be best to jog in clear weather conditions during the day; especially if you are a beginner. Another consideration to make would be exercising with a partner. This can be more motivating for some people and definitely safer should assistance be required. If you exercise with a friend, your parents may be more likely to allow it. Lastly, exercising builds your strength both physically and mentally, so be sure to note this to your parents as well!
April 4th, 2021 9:14am
I am sorry you are having to go through this convincing overprotective parents can be hard you can try telling them the benefits of exercising maybe tell them how it would help you stay healthy and active and help your immune system parents are overprotective because they want you to be safe at all costs and if you show them that it can help keep you safe and healthy it might help and again different things work out for different people so feel free to explore and see which way works for you I wish you all the best in life
April 8th, 2021 12:52pm
In your position, I'd start by trying to understand the reasons why your parents don't let you exercise. Once you understand their stance on the matter, try and explain to them your stance and why you feel you should be able to exercise. In the discussion, relate to your parents that you understand why they do not want you to exercise, but that you believe your reasons are more logical than theirs. In the conversation, try to compromise with your parents so that you and your parents are both satisfied with your agreement about exercise. If they completely ignore you, try again later.
May 7th, 2021 12:08pm
If you are serious about exercising there are a lot of exercises that you can do your in your room, in the family room or in the backyard during times that don't interfer with anything else. Just politely tell them that you will be doing your exercises at such and such a time every day. If you need some nelp or motivation with your exercises there are countless exercise videos on YouTube. Just show your parents which video exercises you will be following along with. If you are truthful and open with them about what you are doing I doubt the they would object to that. However, if you are just using exercise to leave the house or go places away from your parents, then you need to be more real with yourself and your parents.
June 3rd, 2021 3:30pm
That's something hard! You feel that your parents are not allowing you to exercise as you like. What do you think would be the best way in which you could get your parents to view it from your side, but also not feel upset by you exercising? Perhaps you can take measures to ensure that the exercise you do is constructive and doesn't have any damaging side to it. Exercise is a very healthy activity to do, but must be done in the right way, and of course in a safe place and with the right understanding of how to build your muscles or stretch your limbs without hurting yourself in the process.
July 10th, 2021 5:31pm
When trying to "convince" someone of something, what we are really trying to do is get them to understand us. The most important thing to know is when you want someone to understand you, you must also make an effort to understand them. Try to begin the conversation by discussing what their thoughts and fears are about your exercise wishes. Try to really understand why they feel this way. Then, you can explain to them why exercising is important to you. This will only work if you have first spent time thinking about why it is important to you and what your motivations are. Finally, you want to find a solution that works for you and your parents, that acknowledges both of your true motivations and feelings. You can approach this by letting them know that you want to find a solution that benefits both of you. This works when talking to your parents about anything where a compromise is necessary.
July 29th, 2021 9:04am
You should gather your evidence and form a cohesive argument beforehand. A PowerPoint might help you keep things organised and clear. List the reasons why you should be allowed to exercise, use statistics when possible, and form counter-arguments to anything you know they will say. Approach them at a time you know is good and convinient for them. Make sure they are in a good mood. Calmly explain to them why you want to exercise. Talk them through your reasoning and evidence. Counter any concerns or arguments they have. This shows your dedication and helps put forward your best argument.
August 6th, 2021 1:29pm
First of all, you should try not to resent your parents for being over-protective. It shows that they care. However, it can be a strain on your personal growth since part of growing up is finding your own way and your own way of living. Exercising is a crucial part of the latter. Pick a good time for both you and your parents to open up the conversation. Start with some affirming phrases, such as "I see that you are taking great care of me and that is amazing" or "You have always tried to protect me and for that I am grateful". Then you can continue by explaining why you want to exercise. Point out the benefits you see in exercising and why it is important to you personally. If you have concrete plans when you want to exercise, tell your parents. If you have set times in which you will exercise that may take some of their anxiety away. Try to be open to compromise with them when it comes to the timing. If you plan to exercise outside or at a gym, tell them where these areas are or give them the address of the gym. It may also help to offer to take your phone with you so they can reach you, should they get too worried. Lastly, should your parents be worried that you hurt yourself while exercising, reassure them that you will take it slowly, that you know your limits, and that you will do nothing dangerous. If you want to go to the gym, tell them that there are professionals working there who can monitor you.
August 18th, 2021 5:48am
If my parents were worried abut my workout routine, I'd explain the positive affects it has has on me both physically and mentally, following up with why they had any concerns and why. Having a short discussions about this can open lines of communication on both sides. I'd invite them along for a session or class I like or run outside, so they could see exactly what I was doing, and make a plan for the occasional class together. If they still didn't feel comfortable with my plan for any reason, I'd get a third opinion (probably a GP) and ask them their objective opinion.
October 1st, 2021 9:19am
First you must assure your parents that you understand them and have trust with them that they do and wish for your best only. And after this, you must state that for your personal growth it is very necessary to you do some of your activities freely and without any hindrance. Doing exercise has proven benefits for physical and mental health according to many scientific research studies. Morever, assure them that you will do your exercise under proper guidance of experts and wont over do it. With excercise you will take proper rest and a well nutrients loaded diet.
October 14th, 2021 6:25am
well you could arrange for them to drop you off at the gym and pick you up at the gym each time that way they would know you were safe in a gym and not just walking the streets exercising? you could even get a family member like an uncle or something to go to the gym with you or escort you to group exercises in parks there are different ways to make sure you stay safe in there eyes but still get to get to the gym and would even make friends at the gym and they would be able to keep an eye on you.
November 10th, 2021 6:40pm
I think it is important to understand what their intentions would be for not letting your exercise first. Then you could go into the conversation and have a discussion about what it would take to be able to exercise. One thing that I often forget is reflecting on my tone going into the conversation. Sometimes I will get heated and lose a sense of my coolness. It is important for me to take a step back and come in collected with all of my thoughts organized to what I want to say. Then have them talk first so you are able to understand their intention. Afterwards explain your reasoning.