Create A Relationship to Support Health

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 in Health Optimization

Very often when you find yourself holding hands with someone new, you may let go of  the hold you had on your health and fitness routine. Believe it or not, it is possible to be in a relationship, whether new or existing, that creates a supportive, motivating, and sustainable way for you both to stay healthy and in love. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here are some tips on what you and your honey can do to support each other’s health and  be the best you can be for yourself and your relationship.

Talk about your goals

Share what is important to you with your significant other. Communication is the key to keep expectations of each other’s time realistic. How will you agree on fitting in workouts, keeping a healthy kitchen stocked, and eating out less? If your health and fitness goals are not necessarily similar (and often they are not), talk to your partner about the importance of these routines for your well-being so you can continue to be the awesome person that you were on your first date!

Cook healthy meals together

Use a weekly meal planner and shopping list as an easy way to stay organized during the week. One of the best ways you two can relax and enjoy each other’s company is to throw on some old aprons, get comfortable, and whip up a tasty, healthy meal together. Make sure to keep copies of recipes that turn out great so you can make it again another night. Your recipe database will grow quickly and so will your affection for each other in the kitchen!

Go on dates that do not revolve around a meal

Eating out is usually the center of romantic dates, but if you end up feeling full and weighed-down from rich food, the night might end on the early side. Think outside the box and set dates that include excitement and activity. Get to know each other from another angle, rather than from across the table. Try ice skating, surfing or stand-up paddle board lessons. Jogging or hiking through a state park, or going to an arcade are activities that can help you stay active and get to know each other in a unique setting.  You can even register for a race or marathon together, which will help you both stick to your exercise and healthy eating habits.

Give the gift of health

These gifts are not only generous and thoughtful, but will help motivate your partner to stay active and get fit!  Great gift ideas include a new mp3 player, workout clothes, Wii Fit, or a stability ball for at-home exercises. For the ladies, I cannot leave out perfume or jewelry – we can wear those while staying healthy any day!

Take the lead

With all team activities, it can help if one person stands up and takes the reigns. If you have both been considering getting gym memberships, go tour a local fitness center. Be the one to make the call and sign up for a couples meeting with a registered dietitian in your zip code. Visit www.eatright.org to get more professional support, information and accountability. 

The better you both feel about yourselves, the stronger and more stable your growing relationship will be.  It is also important to remember to schedule some “me time” to decompress, maintain friendships, and of course, make your sweetie miss you just a little.

Written by Sumner Brooks, RockIt Body Pilates’ Registered Dietitian. Follow Sumner on Twitter @MyDietitian or learn more at www.NotOnADiet.com