I am no relationship expert, but I am married (bless my husband’s heart) and that should count for something, right? When it comes to marriage and relationships, there are a few things I’ve learned over my almost ten years of wedded bliss: #1: Pick your battles. #2: Laugh often and a lot. #3: Exercise.
The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but exercise? Yes, exercise. Most of us know all the wonderful physical benefits of working out. I’d like to point out some of the benefits, both direct and indirect, exercise has on our relationships.
Reduced stress: Stress can be a real downer in any relationship, both physically and emotionally. It can take a toll over time causing relationships to head downhill quickly. Exercise is a natural stress reliever, causing the body to release endorphins which work with the brain to reduce the perception of pain and trigger positive feelings in the body. When our stress levels are down, our moods are up; thus happier relationships and fewer unnecessary arguments.
Increased energy level: People who work out on a regular basis tend to have more energy and enthusiasm about life. More energy means more liveliness to share with others and more desire to keep things fun, exciting and entertaining, rather than falling into that same ol’ routine.
Increased self-esteem: Much of our self-esteem comes from accomplishing the things that are important to us. Maintaining a regular workout routine and staying fit shows that we can reach goals that make us better people. These feelings of self-worth can carry into our relationships as well, creating freer and stronger marriages.
Increased closeness: Couples that work out together stay together. Whether you’re hiking, lifting weights at the gym, or going on long runs, exercising with your partner means you are accomplishing a difficult task together and that can strengthen the emotional bond between you and your significant other.
Try sitting down with your partner and setting some fitness goals. Maybe you decide on a new activity to do together every Saturday for the next eight weeks. Or maybe you decide that two nights every week will be spent completing a few abdominal sets. Staying active, healthy and fit is one of the best things you can do for your marriage.
Recipe of the Week:
Smoothies are a great way to indulge in something sweet while still gaining some of the nutritional benefits of all the fruits and vegetables that are put in it. Here’s an apple pie smoothie that’s delicious and nutritious!
Apple Pie Smoothie:
3/4 cup applesauce (my preference is the no-sugar added kind, with just a squeeze of blue agave sweetener)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk of your choice (coconut, almond, etc)
1/3 cup of ice cubes
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Optional: 1 tbs flaxseed or chia seeds
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!
Homework for the week:
If you have a spouse or significant other, especially one that doesn’t have a regular workout routine in place, schedule at least one workout that both of you can do together. This may be a couple of ab sets during your favorite TV show, a hike up Kennesaw Mountain Saturday morning, or a tennis match between the two of you.
If you’re single and working out has become a lifestyle for you, consider keeping this at the top of your priorities and look for partners that will not only hold you accountable, but will participate in an active lifestyle along with you.
The Flip Side:
We encourage you to try out classes at the gym as well. We offer a wide variety of classes including Cycling, Pilates, Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga, Zumba, Buns & Bellies, and Cardiofunk. You can sign up using the same MindBody portal you use to sign up for boot camp classes.