Most of the work that we do with couples is in helping them to get emotionally and mentally fit; to whip their marriages into shape. However, getting into shape physically can also do wonders for your marriage.
We love the fitness and weight loss website SparkPeople.com and I read a terrific article on there about couples working out together. It’s called “Workout Ideas for Couples” and it’s got some great information in it. One of the things we thought was most telling was this point:
Exercise produces chemicals in the brain that evoke feelings of happiness, reduce stress, and also increase arousal and libido. Several studies show that men and women who exercise regularly report better (and more frequent) lovemaking with their partners.”
We’ve seen studies on this and we can agree wholeheartedly.
We’ve also seen this principle at work in our own lives. We really encourage you to look at the article for yourselves, especially to read up on the benefits of working out together. But here are some tips to help you get going once the article convinces you that you should!
1. Set a date.
No matter what type of workout you decide to do, make an appointment to do it and then stick to it. You owe it to your partner and yourself to take it seriously. The good news is that after the first couple of weeks or so the results will make it easy.
2. Don’t try to do too much too soon.
Enthusiasm is great, but don’t bite off more than you can both chew. Agree to walk 30 minutes every evening, do 20 minutes of yoga every other morning or swim fifty laps twice a week.Make sure your goals work for both of you.
3. Make adjustments for a less fit partner.
If one of you is in better shape than the other, you can actually make that work and work well. Set the goals and choose the activity based on the less-fit partner’s starting place. Even if you’re substantially more fit than your partner, you’ll still benefit from the exercise. Do a more strenuous workout when you’re alone or go off and do your own thing after your couples activity and let your partner hit the pool, the hot tub or the treadmill.
You may like to listen to your iPod when you’re running, but for your couples workout, leave the headphones at home and put the cell on vibrate. Make sure the kids know to call only in an emergency. It’s only 20 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour-spend it talking with each other and helping each other. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Exercising together can bring you closer, create new bonds and it can be downright hot. Try it for a few weeks and see what you think. It may be just what you need to shed those few pounds and spark up your marriage, too.