It can be difficult to find the motivation to stick to healthy living, especially if you are trying to break out of old habits. But having your partner there to support you can make all the difference.
1. Swear off soda together. Even if you have a busy schedule and can’t fit in three-hour gym visits every day, cutting out sugary drinks — or snacks — is an easy way to get healthy. Granted, if you are used to guzzling down multiple sodas a day, “easy” might be a relative term. But the benefits (decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease) of staying away from soda and other sugary drinks are tremendous. Plus, having someone to commiserate with as you go cold turkey is always good. And if you live together, you are safe in the knowledge that your place is soda-free and you won’t be faced with the temptation.
2. Go for walks. If you are spending most of your days sedentary and sitting in front of a desk, just walking a few miles together every day can make a massive difference, improving things like your heart health and blood pressure. Take the time to walk a few times a week together. Use it to talk about your day and other things you might discuss anyway. You just have the added benefit of exercising at the same time. This might seem tougher in the winter months, but you can still find a local indoor spot like a mall.
3. Try hiking or biking. If walking doesn’t sound intense enough for you, check your area for parks or trails. Hiking and mountain biking other great ways to get outside — the health benefits (like lower cortisol levels) of spending time in nature are exponential — and get some exercise, but you can still set your own pace. They will require a bit of an initial investment for equipment, like boots and bike gear, though.
4. Find a workout routine you can do at home. If you find the gym too intimidating or inconvenient, there are plenty of workout routines you can do in your living room. Some of them don’t even require much in the way of extra equipment. Yes, the idea of workout tapes seem very ‘80s, but there are plenty of options available online.
5. Meditate together. You mental health is important. And you don’t even have to leave the house — apps like Headspace can coach you through a meditation session right in your bedroom. So even if you are unfamiliar with meditation, you can both learn it at your own pace. It is another way to keep yourself calm, relaxed and mindful.
6. Treat going to your gym like a date night. Head to your gym together every night. If you can commit to the same (or similar) workout routines, you can spend quality time in between sets. Sure, protein shakes and a bench press aren’t the same as a glass of wine and a fancy tablecloth. But if you look at the gym as quality time together, it doesn’t feel so overbearing. You can do anything from hot yoga to rock climbing to kickboxing. Find a class that piques your interest and try it out.
7. Try making healthy meals together. Find some fun, healthy meals and try and cook them together a few nights a week. You can even sign up for a meal delivery service. It is a fun way to spend time together (think of how many rom-coms have a cooking montage). But it will also ensure you are eating healthier. On top of that, it is a good way to make sure you are eating out less, where healthy options might be limited. Cook a massive batch of something you both like, then divy it up and toss it in the freezer for easy weekday meal prep. That way, you have healthier options for lunch and you can just grab and go in the morning.
8. Join a local sports league. Plenty of towns and cities run adult “fun” leagues, like bowling or skee ball. You can look into something like co-ed soccer, or choose a sport that you don’t have to take so seriously. There might be an adult dodgeball or kickball league in your area. You can form a team with friends, or sign up to join an existing team and meet new people. Is it goofy? Yes, but it is still exercise.
9. Get competitive with each other. Smart watches like the Fitbit have apps that let you set up weekly contests to see who can walk the most. If you are the kind of couple that screams at each other during board game night, this will have you spending your lunch break doing laps around your office park.
10. Schedule a couple’s massage. Forget romance, a couples massage might be key to mental and physical health, and it is something you can do together. Schedule a recurring massage — to continue to see muscle benefits — where you can both relax and unwind. It is a great way to keep yourself healthy and you don’t even have to lift a finger.
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