"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
We didn't realize the kind of toll being sedentary was taking on our relationship until we snapped out of it and decided to make some changes. It was not a pretty start, but that's exactly what we did. We started.
Put the remote down and crawl away from the couch. I say crawl because I know you've been sitting there so long your legs have probably lost some muscle mass. It's ok, it comes back fairly quickly. Don't forget to take your spouse with you.
When my husband and I first got married we slid into the all-too-common habit of doing a whole lot of nothing. We were just so happy to be sitting in our own place, watching our TV, and eating whatever we wanted. The drive-thru was our main source of nutrition and we would clock an impressive amount of hours in DVD watching.
We didn't realize the kind of toll being sedentary was taking on our relationship until we snapped out of it and decided to make some changes. It was not a pretty start, but that's exactly what we did. We started. Little by little we made improvements to our activity levels and our meals. The benefits were immediate.
That's the thing people don't realize. Stick with a healthy routine for even just a few weeks and you'll experience amazing improvements. It isn't just about weight loss. It's about improved energy, better focus, more stable emotions, and more patience. Can you see why this can be a positive thing for a marriage?
Don't just stop at being more active physically. Try exercising your brain a little too. Even if what you're watching on TV seems educational, you're still doing very little to take in the information. You go on autopilot. I've caught myself watching an old TV show and playing a game on my phone at the same time. Talk about time wasters! Stretch your brain and make yours the kind of relationship where deep conversations are the norm. Here are some ideas to get you on the right path to a more active lifestyle and a healthier marriage.
Long walks on the beach…
While it may be the stereotypical dating profile interest, long walks together stimulate the heart and the brain. When you're experiencing a focused activity you may find your best ideas pop into your head. It will create the perfect opportunity to brainstorm about your hobbies, your date that weekend, or even your future.
Dinner by candlelight…
I know, I know. These suggestions seem so cliché! What I mean by this is decrease the electricity during your meals. Instead of eating on the couch in front of the TV (don't lie, you do it every night), sit at the table. It's that thing covered in magazines and mail. This serves two purposes. You're forced to come up with new topics of conversation, which just might lead to those deep thoughts we were talking about earlier. Second, you're not mindlessly eating. You'll put more thought into your food because now you have to focus on it.
Go somewhere new…
Hopefully you have a designated date night. If you don't, get one. Take at least one date night a month to a new location. There is a catch: no restaurants. Preferably this is an activity that causes you to be active physically, mentally or both. Not long ago we discovered the Museum of Natural History in our area and haven't stopped talking about it since. We must have walked miles around it and learned a wealth of new information. The point is to get out and learn something. Get active!