You’re already well aware of the many benefits of fitness on an individual level: a longer life, the release of happy endorphins and healthier levels for things like cholesterol, weight and blood pressure, to name a few. But did you know when you are a couple committed to wellness, it can also bless your marriage? Healthy couples enjoy more shared memories, more enthusiasm and zest for life (and each other), and they have more years of life to enjoy together.
So how does a couple get and stay fit? Bill and I were both athletes growing up, but soon we found ourselves spending more time driving our sons to sports than doing any ourselves. We knew we needed to take action swiftly if we were to enjoy the golden years together.
The Bible reminds us that our bodies are “a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 6:19) Determined to honor God and better obey His life design, we were resolute to both get and stay healthy, so we went on an adventure to discover a new, healthier way of living. We discovered these keys to a marriage that’s as healthy physically as it is emotionally and spiritually.
1. Find Nutritious Foods
In 10 Secrets of Living Smart, Savvy and Strong, I encourage people to make their plate like a rainbow of colors – and I do not mean a plate full of Skittles! A healthy diet is a balance of lean meats and proteins, a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, strategically selected dairy products (like Greek yogurt) and some life-giving oils (like avocado, coconut and olive oils). We have learned much about healthy eating from First Place 4 Health wellness ministry that offers healthy living Bible studies, online coaching and educational training couples can attend together.
Bill and I enjoy hunting down nutritious foods, healthier restaurants for dates and delicious, wholesome snacks. We also have benefited from healthy cooking classes. We have rediscovered how starry-eyed and interested in each other we become when we put on some romantic music and then prepare a meal together. Make finding nutritious foods a fun challenge for you and your spouse.
2. Try Fun Activities
Fitness and physical exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Spice things up by trying out different physical activities, sports, recreation and movements. The following are some possible activities couples can try together:
- Line, swing or ballroom dance classes
- Watersports, like kayaking, water skiing, paddle boarding or wind surfing
- Cycling or rollerblading
- Winter activities, like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or snowshoeing
- Nature walks, hiking or backpacking
- Tech-driven activities, like Wii Fit or Just Dance
- Workout classes, like CrossFit, kickboxing, Zumba, or a martial arts class
3. Reset Your Life’s Rhythm
For Bill and I, we had to take a hard look at the complete lack of sleep that had blown out our adrenal system, cortisol levels and exacerbated our weight gain. We took a hatchet to our schedule by discussing our life values and priorities. We decided what we could say no to, then removed those items from our calendar in order to say yes to caring for our health and our future.
The average adult needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep to function at their best. The most loving healthy rhythm choice you might make is to simply go to sleep. By trimming down your schedule to include only the things that really matter, you can allow yourself more time to rest, reduce stress and enjoy more energy for your new healthy lifestyle.
4. Motivate Yourselves With Rewards
We stay encouraged by awarding ourselves a new kitchen gadget or new workout attire for each ten pounds we lose or each month we stay at our goal weight. Our friends, Jack and Robin, took up golf and rewarded themselves with new clubs and a trip to a golf resort.
By rewarding yourself with wellness and health tools, vacations, visits to a spa or healthy cooking classes, your good choices add to your quality of life in more ways than one.
Are you ready to create a healthier lifestyle with your soulmate? Try these tips to improve your health as well as your marriage.
You may also be interested in 10 Things To Put On Your First Year Of Marriage To-Do List