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Chapter 1: A Couple Fitness Series

'Couple fitness gives you an appreciation and deeper understanding of your spouse.'

Marriage and fitness often strike up the same visual as oil and water. Fitness is often a great escape. A moment to mentally check out from the world and reflect. Marriage is quite the opposite. Holy matrimony comes with the commitment to stay checked in. However, working out as a married couple can be the greatest asset to elevate your relationship with the right tools. Understanding your spouse is more than verbal communication. We learn our partners based on their visual and emotional cues. The problem is couples know signals of extremes, discomfort, or enjoyment. What about all the gray areas in between?

There is a lot of information on activities couples can do together. However, less information exists on what to consider when trying to get started with couple fitness. This article is the beginning of a series highlighting the baby steps and beyond.

Define your expectations- The first hurdle of couple fitness happens long before deciding what activity you will do together. After two failed attempts to find the time, most couples hit the eject button. Defining your expectations is key to finding the time to connect through physical fitness.

We, not I- It's a great feeling if a partner decides to join in on your form of fitness. However, it is vital to recognize they are beginners and need space to grow. You are not their drill sergeant or coach. It is a partnership. What happens if they say no? Instead of trying to change their mind, respect their no. Work towards an activity you both can enjoy.

Disagreements- Inevitably, couples have moments of frustration with themselves and their partner. There are moments where having a dispute has to happen. Creating ways to effectively communicate feelings occurs over time. The key to resolving disputes is both sides' commitment to starting, finishing, and returning to the agreed-upon activity.

Motivation- Motivation does not fit into the saying, what's good for the gander is good for the goose. What motivates you most likely will not be what motivates your spouse. Letting go of an "I" mentality and observing your partner comes into play.

Commitment and Consistency- Staying committed to the process of fitness as a couple is not easy. But, as cliche as it sounds, it is worth it. The positive impact on your relationship physically, mentally, and emotionally breeds consistency. Your commitment is to self-first, then each other, and finally the activity itself.

Fitness as a couple is an intentional act. It takes planning, communication, dedication, and consistency. At the beginning of this piece, the fitness comparison was that of oil and water. While that may be true when shaken with the right spices, the outcome is delicious. With the right tools and two people ready to do the work, you can create powerful results in your lives by finding time to bond and get healthy together.

I look forward to going in-depth with each highlighted point in this monthly Couple Fitness series.

Be well; you are worthy.

Dominique is a wife, mother, blogger and avid long distance runner. Her style of blogging centers around marriage, family, fitness and personal growth. Dominique’s insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples helpful tools to incorporate into having healthy relationships.

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