For Luke and me, pursuing fitness as a couple was a process of getting to know ourselves and each other. We weren’t always into health and fitness. But my junior year of college, I started getting into fitness and doing Insanity, an intense, at-home workout. It wasn’t until after Luke and I moved in together after graduation that he started joining me every once in a while. Turns out, he loathed the extreme exhaustion from the Insanity workouts. He joined Snap Fitness, but I was reluctant to join. I preferred the at-home workout that didn’t require equipment. So I switched to doing Body Beast, another at-home workout, part of the time, and bringing what I learned to the gym with Luke. Slowly, we started incorporating our workout routines together. We became workout buddies. The company and inspiration motivated us to give it 100% each day. We could also experiment with different workout methods to figure out what was most effective and teach them to each other.
Getting into fitness led us down the path of cleaning up our diets. I’m definitely more passionate about the dietary side of health than Luke, but he is willing to learn new things about health with me. I love learning about the science behind how food interacts with our bodies. On my commutes to work, I listen to the Sigma Nutrition and Performance podcasts. Although Luke is not always as excited about health as I am, he consistently listens and appreciates my enthusiasm when I learn something new.
Fitness has helped Luke and me create a shared passion. We work in separate industries, which makes it hard to find things in common when talking about work. Health gives a shared interest that we both enjoy and in which we thrive. The process of becoming healthier together has had a hugely positive impact on our relationship. It helps that we’ve seen firsthand the negative impact that one spouse with divided health habits can have on a relationship. Staying excited about health is difficult when your spouse has no interest in coming alongside you, so I’m so grateful that we share this motivation now.
Luke and I enjoy many aspects of fitness, but the end result is our favorite. Any time I’m having a bad day, simply working out can completely turn it around. I find the effect fascinating, almost magical. Our workouts are driven by performance. We love to challenge ourselves and each other to continually improve our performance from the previous workout. We love the sense of accomplishment it gives us when we increase our rep count or weight and celebrate each other’s successes. We also love that, with lifting, we don’t get sweaty and completely drained like we would with an Insanity Workout.
Right now, Luke and I are the fittest we’ve ever been. The strength we’ve gained has brought endless health benefits. We’re able to accomplish more now, and we know that it will help us down the road as we age. Choosing dedication to workouts together has changed our daily lives in many ways. We find ourselves choosing hobbies where we can be active. We commit to walking the dog together every night, even in the winter. It also changes little things, like planning vacations around the availability of hiking trails. Working out has shaped our food choices to be more focused on performance, because we realize that we need to fuel our bodies with the best quality food in order to continue to perform well.
Luke and I are passionate about maintaining this lifestyle to pass on to our kids and set them up for success in a society that offers so many unhealthy decisions. I love encouraging other couples to choose healthy routines in their lives too. Here are a few tips for couples who want to pursue fitness together:
- Find something to do together that you both enjoy. This can be lifting weights, playing a sport, or experimenting with new, healthy recipes ( we love Elana’s Pantry Cook Book.)
- Make working out a priority in your lives. Agree on workout schedules and stick to them. This is a challenge when life gets crazy, but you’ll discover that it’s worth it.
- Support each other any way you can, and celebrate the small victories to help fuel each other’s passions. Continue to challenge yourself and each other. Push yourself and try new things to keep working out interesting. Boring workouts eventually burn you out.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse for help. Your husband is a built-in health accountability partner. I’ve found that this is incredibly helpful when it comes to social events. When I attend parties, I tend to binge-eat salty snacks. Luke is there to discretely warn me when I start doing this and remind me of my health goals. A simple reminder works miracles. For me, this is the definition of a supportive relationship.
- Never judge your partner. This is destructive to both the relationship and the workout, because it teaches someone to expect judgment every time they workout or have something unhealthy to eat. Remember, fitness isn’t about perfection. It’s about the process of becoming a stronger, healthier person.
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