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TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m worried that my plump husband never exercises

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I am a female part-time worker in my 20s. I am seeking advice about my husband, to whom I have been married for two years.

Since childhood, my husband has always been plump. He is self-conscious about it, but says he has never had a strong body, and he rarely gets any exercise.

Trying to do what I can, I take care about planning our daily meals. However, I suspect my husband sneaks snacks on the side, and sometimes buys food at the convenience store and eats it.

He got the results of a health exam the other day. It wasn’t so good, and gave the recommendation that he “cut down on eating between meals and try to get some exercise within a comfortable range.” He snapped back at me by saying, “Eating helps me relieve stress from work. I don’t want to exercise. I am stressed enough, so don’t nag me.”

Several years ago, my father died from a lifestyle of neglecting his health, so I worry about seeing this happen again. I know that without my husband making an effort, there will be no change in his lifestyle.

What should I do?

C, Gifu Prefecture

Dear Ms. C:

Although you are concerned about your husband’s health, he has never developed a sense of the importance of health and exercise because he is young.

My husband has also said things like, “I used to be that way in my 20s.” But when his clothes started to no longer fit him, my husband realized it was a bad situation and started an exercise program. Perhaps it’s the same for your husband, that he won’t act until he realizes there is a problem.

That said, considering his future health, I understand that you can’t just sit back and do nothing. For people who shun exercise like your husband, the ideal way is to come up with a “different objective” for exercising. For example, taking the dog for a walk or going shopping at a spacious mall.

At home, if you suggest, “Let’s do the housework together,” he can clean the bath or wash the windows. Such tasks provide a pretty good workout.

I recently met up with my 8-year-old nephew, who shocked me by saying, “You’re getting a bit of a belly.” From then on, I increased my jogging sessions.

In the same way as your husband, the most effective medicine may be for a child, be it a nephew or niece, making a disparaging comment.

Try to be enthusiastic about coming up with a strategy to get him to get moving.

Akemi Masuda, sports commentator

(from Oct. 28, 2018, issue)Speech

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