You want to have a long-lasting and happy relationship, right? Have you considered that in order for that to possibly happen, both you and your partner will need to maintain your health so you can continue to enjoy each other’s company through the decades?
Doctors tell us that exercising more will help us to have longer, healthier lives. Fortunately there are additional things that can help us individually and as a couple to be more inclined to get our bodies moving. Exercise is also important to many for fun, excitement, competition, and camaraderie.
So how can you incorporate this wondrous thing called exercise into your lives as a couple? If each of you already have separate routines or interests with physical activity, it will be important to honor each other’s interests and time needs for those exercise routines, sports activities or other physical activities.
Here are some ways to honor your individual time needs to pursue your physical activity interests.
- Attempt to coordinate exercise times to fall on similar time schedules whenever possible.
- If your partner uses exercise to calm down, blow off steam, or as their alone time, be supportive of that and do not insist on going along with them each time or make them feel guilty for wanting to go alone.
- If your partner genuinely welcomes you or encourages you to become more involved with their exercise plans, you could try learning your partner’s sport or joining your partner’s gym, and/or become a support person in some other way… such as by attending their sports games or events.
If you want to get more physically active while also spending more time together as a couple, here are some other ideas.
- Take lessons or get coaching to improve at something or to do a new physical activity together, such as in sports (co-ed soccer league, tennis, golf), with dancing (salsa, ballroom), or at the gym (yoga, cross-fit)
- Do something together that you don’t do often enough but both know how to do, in a new scheduled-in routine, such as bicycling, walking, running, swimming
- Go dancing at some clubs more often
- Join a health club or the YMCA and go together. Keep an eye out for any extras they offer that you might be able to take advantage of together, such as adult sports leagues, racquetball or tennis courts.
- Acquire some exercise equipment for use at home
- If neither of you are that physically oriented or you prefer milder exercise, at least go for regular walks together 3-4 times per week for half an hour or longer. This will get your body moving and give you some health benefits too. Walking can also provide you with dedicated time for each other- time when you can touch for increased physical closeness (you can hold hands) and talk for increased emotional closeness (you can talk without interruption from computers, work, kids, chores).
Now, some of you (wise-guys and gals) might be thinking, “Hey, we should just have more sex and get more physical activity in the bedroom!” Well, if your doctor thinks that will be enough, who am I to say otherwise? So, go ahead. Check with your doctor. But he or she will probably just raise an eyebrow, smile and tell you that you’ll need to get more exercise outside of the bedroom too!
So, be supportive and encouraging with each other when it comes to physical activity and exercise. Be willing to find ways to incorporate physical activity into your life, and within your relationship or marriage as part of your plan for a long-lasting, and happy relationship. And to stay motivated, remember that you, your doctor and your partner all want you to live a long and healthy life!