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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guest Post: Living a Healthy Lifestyle with Your Partner - Kelly from Femme Fitale

Hi loves, I'm so excited to share a guest post from one of my favourite blogging friends, Kelly from Femme Fitale! Kelly is here to share her tips for living a healthy, active lifestyle with your partner. This is something I've wrote about before in Being Active with your Partner, however, Kelly is a wife and mama - and also a Fitness Instructor so she has some incredible tips!

Hi, everyone! I’m Kelly, a Canadian-turned-Australian teacher, group fitness instructor, and first time mother. I write a healthy living blog, Femme Fitale, where I discuss fitness, food, and living a healthy, positive, and active lifestyle. Kristy and I ‘met’ through the Aussie blogging world, and I’m thrilled to write a guest post for Southern-in-Law while she and Jesse are sorting through the photos from their Bali Honeymoon!

In light of the recent SIL wedding, I thought this would be an opportune time to discuss the importance of staying active and finding a way to incorporate exercise and physical activity into your relationship! I’ve been married to my husband, Adam, for a little over three years. We now have an 8-month old boy who has definitely kept us busy over the past little while. Regardless of our living arrangements or changing family dynamics, physical fitness has remained an important part of our relationship since we met almost seven years ago.

As we’ve all heard time and time again, exercise is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. From heart health, to weight loss, to fighting illness, the list of benefits is extensive.  So, it is only logical that we all make it a priority in our relationships, right? If we are spending most of our free time with one person, wouldn’t we want to make the most of it?

That’s the thing. I believe there are many of us who can identify with how simple it is to fall into the, “let’s order dinner in, watch tv, and eat treats on the couch” lifestyle. I’ve been there in the past, and it’s never led to anything positive or beneficial. I mean, of course we need to have those lazy nights in sweatpants, with a bottle of wine and a gallon of ice cream. Those nights are fun and memorable in any relationship, but not when it’s the sole form of entertainment and activity in our lives.

When I first met Adam, one of the things that I appreciated most about him was his sense of adventure. He was always on the move and continuously suggesting active outings for our dates, rather than just dinners and movies like I had become accustomed to in past relationships. When I recall some of our most memorable times together, none of them involve sitting around on the couch and eating junk food.

There are a variety of reasons why you should workout/exercise with your partner:

- Share and experience common interests.
- Share your personal interests and learn new things from one another other.
- You can motivate each other.
- You’ll influence each other to make better food choices.
- If you workout or stay active at the same time, you can spend more time doing other things (besides exercise) together in your free time.
- You’ll be more likely to maintain an active lifestyle and routine.
- Exercise = Positive Endorphins = Happier People = Happier Relationship. Enough said.

So, that all sounds fine and dandy, but how can my partner and I create a more active lifestyle together?

1. Be Workout Buddies

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stand and spot each other overtop of the bench press (although you certainly can do that, if you so desire)! Adam and I don’t workout ‘together’. However, when we lived in Calgary, we used to go to the gym together at 5am. I’d hang out over in the women’s section or attend a group fitness class, and he did his own thing. It was great because we could still motivate each other to get our butts to the gym, and our evenings were free for making dinner, going for walks with our dog, or just enjoying some downtime.  

2. Go Exploring

Choose a destination, part of your city, a day trip, or anything that you’ve been meaning to see and do. It’s fun to play ‘tourist’ in your own stomping grounds.

3. Set Goals Together

Would you both like to train for a race? Lose weight? Get more fresh air? It’s great to have a ‘support person’ when you set personal goals, but it makes things that much more motivating when you can create and work towards them together!

4. Join a Co-Ed Sports League

Adam and I both played sports growing up, so naturally we have always enjoyed athletic events together. In one of our first dates, I actually beat him in a basketball free-throw game (‘21’), and I’ll never let him live it down. The only team sport we have actually played together is beach and court volleyball; it is one of my favourite activities we’ve participated in as a couple.

5. Try Something New

Is there an activity that both of you have always wanted to do together? Adam introduced me to skiing. I’d never been on a ski hill in my life, but it became one of my favourite (Canadian) winter activities, even if I am still queen of the blue runs.
Signing up for newsletters or Groupon emails is another great way to keep your eye out for new, interesting activities.

6. Be Kids Again

Now that I am a mother, I know I have many active, busy years ahead of me. Children love to move, and there are so many outings geared towards kids that revolve around physical activity. A day at the zoo, a game of tag, running around a park…the possibilities are endless. Don’t have a child? Borrow one! Seriously, guys. Parents will be happy to give up their little ball of energy for a couple of hours.

7. Active Vacationing

This is a big one for us. Although we like to have some downtime with a beach and a good book, we always try to select a location that will allow for some kind of physical activity. Exploring, day trips, seeing the sights, etc. One of our favourite active trips was to San Francisco. With so many delicious restaurants on ever corner, we naturally ate our faces off, but walked and walked and walked all over the extremely hilly city.  However, I completely appreciate the tranquility of a tropical escape from reality, and actually did a post a couple months ago about how to stay active on a beach vacation.

So there you have it. Regardless of your passions, experiences, and personal preferences, there is always a way to incorporate physical fitness and activity into your relationship. Perhaps it’s true in your case that opposites attract, but if you do a little digging, there are surely many things that you can do together that aren’t sedentary. The memories we make in our relationship are always the ones that involve excitement and experience, which is kind of tough to do when you are planted on the couch for seven nights of the week. Congratulations, Kristy and Jesse! I hope you had an amazing honeymoon in paradise and experienced a fantastic mix of yoga, relaxation and swimming whilst taking in all of the amazing sights and sounds! Be sure to check out Kelly's Blog, Femme Fitale and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - or send Kelly an email. But tell me, how do you stay active with your partner - or your friends?

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