Sometimes all the motivation you need to get healthy is right before your eyes. A healthy and fit lifestyle is one of the key pillars to having a strong, enduring and passionate relationship. Working out with a partner is a great way to set fitness goals. Everyone needs motivation in life and how amazing would it be if your source of motivation were your life partner!
Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, motivation and in some cases, a healthy competition. It’s time you considered how physical fitness can benefit not only your own health and well-being, but also your romantic relationship.
If there’s one thing to be learnt from working out together, it is that gender doesn’t play a role when it comes to workouts. Yes, you might not lift the same amount of weight as your partner, but remember, you are working out for your body weight. So take things slow and track your progress.
Don’t want no ‘man shoulders’!
We all have heard the myths that women who lift weights start looking like men. Well, the truth is when you lift heavy objects your muscles get stronger and denser. Stronger doesn’t always mean bulky. Women’s bodies naturally create very little testosterone, only about 10% of what a man produces, which helps keep the risk of the dreaded bulk down. For women, strength training tones the muscles and raises their metabolism. With the right training, muscles will show more definition over time without bulking up. Strength training for women will produce a more efficient form of weight loss than the same amount of cardio workout. When we strength train, our muscles go through a process of breaking down and then begin the process of rebuilding over the next 24 to 48 hours. While your body is working, it requires more calories and energy; this is often referred to as the “afterburn effect”. This also means your metabolism operates at a faster pace even when you are at rest after a workout. It’s not necessary to run a marathon or bicycle a hundred miles to lose weight. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s actually a good idea to build up those muscles if you’re looking to lose weight.
- Planning a couple workout can get a little tough since you have to consider both your schedules. Be open to new workouts. Try different styles of workouts that interest you and your partner.
- Take partner exercises, for example. You and your partner will have different fitness levels, but the more you workout together the more you can balance each other.
- Learn to enjoy the workout and not get competitive as that will ruin your whole workout vibe.Be there to encourage and motivate each other.
Busy days almost nudge out the possibility for a balanced diet. Still, look for ways to be there for each other when it comes to eating healthy. In all honestly, we can’t always be eating healthy, we all have our breaks in between where we binge and eat as if there were no tomorrow.
Seven essential factors for a balanced diet are carbs, proteins, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. So a balanced set of meals for a day would look something like this:
- Breakfast works well when split in two portions. Start with a cup of oats with peanut butter (preferably use the organic one, try to avoid the processed ones), bananas, almonds and walnuts. You can add any toppings you want. Follow it with a cup of black coffee and jaggery and a few boiled eggs.
- For lunch, a meal of chapattis or brown rice with veggies and chicken, either marinated or made into a simple curry. Post-lunch snack would either be a cup of Greek yoghurt or some nuts.
- Dinner is best eaten light and quite early. Try to change protein for lunch and dinner.
With all this, make sure to definitely have enough water. A minimum of 8-10 glasses daily will work wonders. Healthy snacking options can include sprouts, chickpea salad, unsweetened Greek yoghurt, popcorn, bananas, a piece of dark chocolate or a handful of nuts.
Functional training is a great way to go for couple workouts. Try about 8-10 variations in a day with about 3-5 sets in each variation. For starters, you can pick simple exercises that do not involve equipment, like pushups, planks, squats, burpees, cycling, rowing and so on. As and when you progress, you can start using equipment for different workouts. It is advisable to alternate your training, so if you do body weight training twice a week, balance it with weight lifting for the remainder of the week. For the routine to stick, it usually requires you both to work out at least 5 days a week. But everything depends on your schedule, even if you are not able to make it 5 days a week, try starting with at least 2 and gradually increasing your gym sessions. The days you know you are skipping your workout, try to be conscious of what you eat so you don’t feel too guilty about missing that killer workout.
Being an inspiring partner when it comes to fitness is important. Words of encouragement instead of little jibes can go a long way in securing your journey to a holistically healthy relationship.