Couples that work out together, work out.

0fcfabafaedb2a086c4ffa334d2fd11fThe other day at the grocery store, I got some serious eye roll action from my husband. “I don’t think we should get that.” I said. “It has too much sugar.” Enter said eye roll. I told my husband he should feel lucky to be married to a health coach! He gets coaching for free, plus a personal grocery shopper. But I understand that it can be annoying to be married to a health nut. Moreover, I have a theory that there’s always one health nut in the relationship. There’s always that one person who actually LIKES working out. And then there’s the other one who does it because they should. They need to be dragged. I think that’s in part why they find a health nut to partner with. It’s almost like a natural part of our survival instinct. Take Alec Baldwin. Here comes 60! I better find a Yoga teacher to marry! And now the guy looks better than ever. I also believe that working out together is one of the most healthy things you can do to keep a relationship in shape.

I’ve noticed a consistently uplifting trend in my student and client base that I love: couples working out together. As a Yoga teacher, you can imagine I see my fair share of women, but it appears that an awful lot of those women are VERY loved by their husbands. How can I tell? They come with them to Yoga class. They say you should marry the man who makes you laugh. That is a great rule. But I also want to add that you should marry the man you could drag to a Yoga class. Not the guy who you meet at the Yoga class, but the guy who rolls his eyes and gets on his workout shorts and attempts to breathe and awkwardly touch his toes because he LOVES you that much. More importantly, it demonstrates that deep down inside, he knows what’s good for him. And when he does what’s good for him, you know he must also love and care about himself, in a healthy way. This is a great thing to look for in a man.

I have an amazing sister in law. She works out, watches what she eats, loves to do fun races and is concerned about her health and the health of her family. Recently, she told me that my brother has agreed to do calisthenics with her every night. Now, if you knew my brother, you’d know exactly what this means. He must really really love his wife. Now ladies, if you find a man (or woman) who agrees to go to Yoga with you, or running with you or do calisthenics with you, that’s a keeper. That’s someone who loves you. There’s a delicate balance that must be struck when you and your partner talk about each other’s health. No one wants to hear “you need to work out” and nothing kills trust quicker. Plus, it’s horrible for one’s self esteem. I’ve known a lot of men and women who have fallen into the trap of “Babe. Maybe you should work out.” or “Babe. How about an apple instead?” We are all well meaning when we say these things. It’s a trap to avoid, but at some point in a long term relationship, you might find yourself accidentally saying one of these things. We love each other, we watch out for each other, that’s what we do. BUT, what really makes a relationship stronger is when the guy/girl of your heart actually SUPPORTS you in your efforts. You wanted to do rock climbing? She hates heights. But she goes. Because she wants you to be happy and healthy. Because she loves you. Because she’s a keeper. You feel that you could be more healthy if she let you escape every once in while to go play soccer with the boys, and even though this means she’s going to have double chore duty and bath time will be all her, she says yes. THAT’s a keeper. I’ve been seeing this a lot in my job, and it fills my heart with love.

In addition to supporting and showing up for your partner in their efforts toward health, there are a number of other benefits that working out together has on your relationship. First off, if you go walking together, you will most likely have time to actually speak. This is incredibly important when kids, work, and that pesky Iphone get in the way. You walk or ride or drive to that class together, that’s a good __ minutes of uninterrupted talk time for you and your partner. Second, it gives you one more way to connect in talking about common interests. Was your Yoga teacher being super weird tonight? Your husband does a hilarious impersonation of how she pronounces the word “Exhale” and it makes you laugh endlessly. Shared interest is another reason to work out together. I know I don’t have to mention the glaringly obvious benefit of working out with your partner. We’ll just say this: it increases blood flow to all of your body parts. It releases endorphins and makes you feel happier. It gives you confidence in the way you look, and can increase the level of testosterone in both men and women. Case and point- working out is the ultimate way to feel connected to your body, and maybe someone else’s…

I have more than once witnessed married couples holding hands in Savasana. I have seen men make amazing improvements in their own flexibility, strength, and ┬ábreathing because they originally just wanted to make their wives happy. How awesome is that? Making your body and relationship stronger at the same time? I’m sold.

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