In Sickness and in HEALTH: Creating Healthy Habits with Your Partner by Kelsey Blythe

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We hear about the importance of physical health all the time, it’s everywhere: “Eat healthy, stay active!”  But did you ever consider that being healthy with your partner can also be good for your relationship?

One aspect of having a healthy relationship with your partner is to consider sharing a healthy lifestyle.  This is good for your relationships and for your bodies!  People who are physically healthy have greater self-confidence, more energy, and less stress (Thomassian, 2014). They also experience increased closeness and intimacy with their partner (Cook, 2011).  It makes sense that we are often more enjoyable to be around when we are healthy because we feel good, and we have relieved our stress.

If you are interested in becoming healthier, you can add the benefit of starting that journey with your partner.  You can encourage each other and have fun along the way!  Studies show that when promoting health, your partner can be a great source of personal motivation (Lewis, 2006).

Here are some suggestions for activities you and your partner can do together.  These ideas could be fun to try once, or could lead to a new hobby for you and your partner to share.  Either way, try some of these out and have fun experiencing them with each other!

Get active: Change up the regular routine.  Don’t just sit on the couch with your partner and watch the newest episode of Game of Thrones (which is excellent, I admit).  Get up, go outside, and spend time talking with your partner.  Here are some examples of activities you can both do:exercise

  • Go for a walk
  • Swim
  • Walk the dogs
  • Hike
  • Jog/run
  • Meditate
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Take a class at the gym/rec center

Eat healthy: Try not to eat out or heat up the frozen lasagna as often… Focus on nutrition or trying a new, healthy alternative you’ve never had before.  It can be a lot of fun to try something different every once in a while, even if you don’t love what you end up making!

cooking

  • Cook for each other
  • Try “meatless” meals
  • Start a detox together
  • Grow a garden together
  • Pick apples or another local fruit/veggie, then use them for your next meal

Here is a website that offers healthy recipes that are portioned nicely for 2 people: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_cooking_two_recipes

Redefine date night: Here are a few suggestions about how to improve the regular date night and upgrade from just “dinner and a movie”.  These activities encourage you both to interact, rather than passively sitting next to each other while a movie plays.

date night

  • Go to a local market
  • Take a dance class
  • Find a local rock climbing gym
  • Go bowling
  • Horseback riding
  • Go stargazing
  • Volunteer together

There is truly no downside to creating healthy habits together.  You improve your personal health, while encouraging your partner to do the same.  As a bonus, you get to create fun experiences along the way as a couple.

-Kelsey Blythe

Sources:

Cook, M. (2011, January 13). 10 Ways to Become Healthier as a Couple. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-ways-to-become-healthier-as-a-couple.html

Thomassian, M. (2014, January 1). 5 Benefits Of Exercise For A Healthy Marriage. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://simplemarriage.net/5-benefits-of-exercise-for-a-healthy-marriage/ 

Lewis, M., McBride, C., Pollak, K., Puleo, E., Butterfield, R., & Emmons, K. (2006). Understanding Health Behavior Change Among Couples: An Interdependence And Communal Coping Approach. Social Science & Medicine, 1369-1380.

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