Exercising With Your Spouse

My first outing with my husband to a gym was highly amusing to me and incredibly annoying to him.  I giggled a bit as he fumbled with a piece of equipment or picked up a weight that I thought was too light.  I was trying to hold the smirking back, but I couldn’t help it.  He got annoyed and told me to quit it.  I managed to keep a straight face for the rest of the workout but inside the giggles continued.

We found better footing when we went running.  We both kinda stunk at it so it was a level playing field.  We huffed and puffed and turned pink and sweaty.  I let him take the lead on the Couch to 5K program, ticking off the intervals of walking and running.  After a few weeks he turned to me and said, “I actually like this, I look forward to it now.”  Yay! A win!  He’s also a very good volleyball player and he’ll bump the ball with me in a park to keep his skills up.  It’s a great workout for me because I’m not as good, so I’m moving around a lot more to get to the balls!

I realize most people aren’t married to a personal trainer of some sort and my husband has a bit of a disadvantage because of it.  I do truly know more than he does and I have the certifications to prove it.  If you can work out with your spouse (or even better your whole family), it does make life a lot easier.  Exercise will become a family priority, which means it’s more likely to happen.

However, it will take some negotiation.  Some things to consider …

What do you both like to do as individuals? Is there one thing that the other is willing to do?  Perhaps your man wouldn’t be caught dead in a Barre class, but maybe you’d have fun on the basketball court.

Decide if the kids are part of it or not. Fitness can be just the two of you or it can include everyone in your home.  Decide as a family what activities to incorporate as a group.  For my husband and I, it’s pick-up basketball and running with our kid; I do Spinning and group exercise classes solo, and we do weight training and Pilates as a duo.

Schedule it! Yep, mark it down on the calendar so it actually gets done.  Once you’re a few weeks in, it’ll just be part of your daily life and so much easier to accomplish.

Be open to new possibilities. If one spouse comes up with a great idea, try it!  If it’s a disaster, chalk it up to a learning experience, but maybe you’ll find a new sport or exercise regimen that you like.  Anything from trapeze work to kettlebells, even if it doesn’t appeal to you, give it a go. You might be pleasantly surprised.

What do you and your spouse do together?  What were some of the successes and some of the disasters?  How do you include your kids if you have them?  I’d love to hear your stories.