Modifying your lifestyle together with your loved one can do wonders for each other’s health and fitness.
Aside from the physical progress, making time and effort to work out with your spouse, regardless of time and place, can have a significant impact on your relationship, and can even affect the people around you.
This Valentine month, recognize how you and your partner can encourage and inspire each other to commit to an active lifestyle by finding the right motivation. I hope that the following couple stories, including mine, can inspire you and your partner to stay active together.
I started exercising with my husband when we were just close friends. We used to run around some parks in Makati on weekends, and I remember that we could only last up to 20 minutes—it was truly fun and challenging for us.
That was 12 years ago, when we were just starting as fitness coaches. Then the interest in running and staying fit led to training and joining full marathons together, until we eventually got married.
Even up to this moment, when I work out with him, I can really feel how much we value health, and how much we support each other in our wellness goals. I always feel more motivated to finish my workout because I can see that he is really passionate about staying well.
There are times when we don’t really talk that much when we run together, because he loves his music and I enjoy the quiet time. But we both experience a strong connection during that “me time,” because we are both aware of how much we are committed to staying fit to reach our maximum potential and to living life longer together.
Inspiring other people, especially our family, friends and clients, to embrace a healthy lifestyle then just comes naturally, because of the strong foundation we have.
If you can get your special someone or spouse to work out with you, it will be a good chance to make a fitness activity the ultimate moment to connect and inspire each other. The most important thing when working out together is realizing that you both value health, self-improvement and companionship, and you both love the feeling of doing something productive and healthy while together.
Aside from the usual Sunday morning groups and couples, I see more couples working out together on a Saturday morning. It can start as early as 8 a.m., so at work, I call it a “couple workout day.”
But for almost two years, there have been particular couples in the studio that I see every Saturday, who have been very consistent and committed to their once-a-week session. Saturday is the only time when these couples can exercise together.
It all started when my long-time client Malou Fores, 48, asked her husband Oye, 49, to work out with her under my supervision every Saturday. They became consistent in that scheduled bonding workout session, aside from their weekday exercise programs and sports, which they do separately.
Their exercise partnership inspired some of their friends to do the same on weekends. The Fores couple and their couple friends really look forward to their group suspension training session every Saturday at 11 a.m. because they can stay fit, bond with their spouses and have fun altogether the healthy way.
So whenever these couples meet, dine out and attend parties together, they get to remind everyone about staying healthy and committed to their active lifestyle.
If you and your loved one are social exercisers and you both get more encouraged to work out with more people, then you might want to motivate your couple friends to set a physical activity together with you and your husband/wife at least once a week, preferably on a weekend.
More and more people are getting active now, and there’s so much to choose from with fitness activities like gym workouts, yoga, circuit training, suspension training, boot camp-type workouts and sports like running, badminton, tennis, swimming, cycling and triathlons.
Despite their busy schedules, Sonny, 41, and Tootsy Angara, 38, always make an effort to wake up early twice a week for our 6:30 a.m. home workout. They exercise together at home, either on their own at their most convenient time or with me, and for years, their three kids got used to seeing them like that.
This couple is more motivated to work out together, compared to when they have separate workout sessions. According to Tootsy, they look forward to working out together because it is much more fun; they motivate each other when one is tired, and monitor each other’s fitness progress. Time passes quicker as compared to running alone on a treadmill.
I do admire their partnership, because there’s a lot of laughter, teasing and friendly competition during each session. They also support each other when it comes to achieving their fitness goals by reminding each other to watch their food intake and do physical activities at home when they miss a scheduled workout session.
If you don’t have time to work out in a gym or walk or run outside, you can set an exercise session at home with your spouse at your common time during the week for 20-60 minutes.
It can either be a weekday or weekend early morning, mid-day or after work, depending on your availability. You can get a fitness coach to train you both, you can follow exercise videos together, do a simple home workout routine using bodyweight, bands or free weights, play exercise games or just dance together with your favorite music.
It would be better if your children could see you work out together because you are the greatest and strongest role models they can ever have. Most of my older clients who are long-time exercisers now have very fit and healthy children.
E-mail the author at mitchfelipe @gmail.com Follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe.