Having a workout partner can often be the difference in achieving your fitness goals, and your spouse can be the best workout partner. Research shows when one spouse improves his or her exercise regimen, the other spouse is significantly more likely to join in. Laura Cobb, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health co-author of the research states, “There’s an epidemic of people in this country who don’t get enough exercise and we should harness the power of the couple to ensure people are getting a healthy amount of physical activity.”
My husband, Vince, joined me on my journey from the sedentary, obese life to an active and healthy lifestyle. Transformed, we motivate and enjoy our time with each other.
Walking and hiking are perhaps the easiest. When I started walking, Vince joined me. We walked our neighborhood, gradually building up to two miles each morning. With greater confidence, we ventured out to the local trails and parks for a challenging alternative. Our trekking poles increase our traction on slippery surfaces and reduce the impact on our knees, ankles and feet. It has also become a sweet time together.
Swimming is a great way to cool off and easy on the joints. Even though we were empty nesters, Vince and I joined our neighborhood pool one summer in lieu of a gym membership. After swimming laps, we splashed, played, and jumped off the diving board. We even braved the water slide a few times. We love vacationing around the ocean—kayaking, snorkeling and even catching the waves on a boogie board. Together we attempted ocean Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP). SUP was harder than it looked. We want to try it again on a lake where the water moves slower.
Bicycling is our most frequent activity. Who can beat an activity where you can sit and exercise? As soon as the weather breaks in the spring, we are out riding. We start out slow, riding for six to ten miles. My bucket list includes a ride from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, an outrageous thought when I weighed 274 pounds.
Boot Camp exercise is our newest adventure. The workout includes cardio, strength, and endurance for all fitness levels. Boot Camp works every muscle group and can be done anywhere, as it does not require any equipment. As I lead the class, I am thankful for Vince’s support as we sweat and grow stronger together.
Here are some tips to consider as you and your spouse get fit together:
- Pick an activity you will both enjoy.
- Begin with ten to fifteen minutes a day, and then increase the time gradually.
- Support your feet to avoid injury with proper fitting shoes.
- Schedule your fun and enjoy your time getting healthy together.
SPECIAL NOTE: Join Helen at Summit 2016 in San Antonio this summer where she will share information about living intentionally and finding spiritual rest!