Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Seeking advice for getting spouse more active


#1

Hey folks - new to the forum here, at my spouse’s request.

I’m a very active person; I like outdoor activities, particularly mountain biking or building new biking trails. For me, it’s not so much exercise as it is fun. Ever since my wife was diagnosed with schizophrenia, it’s become increasingly difficult to get her excited about any sort of activity, from riding our bikes to doing the dishes. (Ok…no one gets excited about doing dishes).

I’m seeking advice on ways I can get her more active. I want her to stay healthy and stay fit, but it’s hard getting her motivated to take any action.


#2

Hi, welcome to the forum.

Advice: keep inviting your wife to do things like take a walk or even drive to local park. Invite her at least once a week no matter how many times she says no thank you. Is there an activity your wife enjoys doing that you two could do together?

Depending on how long she has been ill and how severe her symptoms are, she likely has difficulties with motivation that are caused by the illness. If you have not yet been able to attend a NAMI Family to Family education class or find other ways of becoming educated about schizophrenia and related disorders, I recommend doing so. Once you discover how severe the illness can be, you will see how hard your wife works every single day to do what doesn’t seem like as much as she once did. She is probably having to make so much more effort to do what looks like less. Then, if she does start riding her mountain bike again or finds another activity she likes, you will be even more impressed by the incredible amount of healing and recovery she has accomplished.

Also, it’s really good you are active and I hope you keep it up for your own health and fun.


#3

Thank you for your reply! For me, it’s never been about exercise; I just like bike riding! :slight_smile:

The weather is part of the problem; it’s either wicked cold or raining lately, so we haven’t been able to hit the park as often as I’ve wanted. However, I’ve just ordered an indoor trainer stand that will support our bikes so we can ride indoors until the weather improves.

My wife has often expressed a love for swimming, but again - wintry weather limits options. There are several college indoor pools, but the membership fees are a bit steep.

The three main problems for her are motivation, dedication and commitment. If and when I can get her motivated enough for something - say, biking - it’s another battle to keep her dedicated to a regular routine. Right now, it’s a bit hard for her because she hasn’t rode very often. In my case, I’ve been riding all year 2 to 3 days a week, with each ride between 8 to 15 miles. So I’ve built up my core & leg strength. I know that if she can ride regularly, it will get easier for her as her strength improves. Just need tips on keeping her motivated and committed!

Thanks!


#4

Great advice @Hereandhere, I agree :slight_smile: Welcome to the forum @sixstanger00


#5

Welcome to the forum. For us the key is doing things together. Don’t forget the simple things like nature and perhaps take a walk to stop and watch the sun set. Try to do the things she enjoys first and learn all you can about the illness without treating her differently. No one wants to be defined by their illness. Good luck with everything.