By hearing from my friends, clients, or having experienced some of these issues myself at times, I know there are certain negative effects that a sedentary lifestyle can have on a marriage.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not in any way a marriage counselor or claim to believe I have all the answers to a perfect marriage. I also do not believe that ALL marital problems can be solved by exercise! I am simply sharing my personal experience and opinions on the way that physical fitness helps live life to the fullest particularly in a marital relationship.
The first and most direct way fitness has been a blessing in our marriage is the time we have gotten to spend together and bonding we have done during joint workouts.
Of course, my husband and I DID meet by working at the same gym so our first "dates" before we began officially dating consisted of working out together.
We don't have the luxury of doing all of our workouts together, nor did we ever, but when we get to- it's actually a treat.
Some of my favorite memories of the last few weeks of waiting for Joshua to arrive were the hours Ben and I clocked together in the gym, talking in between sets about how excited we were to meet our son so soon.
Presently, we still workout together any chance we can and it is a very cool thing to be able to see your spouse in a different light. Whether it's a determined and persevering side that comes out, or a goofy and relaxed side- for us it depends on the day- you get to hang out with one another in a unique environment, WHILE becoming healthier! What an added bonus.
If you can't workout with your spouse for a variety of reasons--your spouse's reluctance to exercise, the necessity of one of you watching the kids, or working with opposing schedules, etc.--your marriage can still benefit JUST from you working out!
1.) ENERGY LEVELS
We should all be giving our spouse our BEST, not what's LEFT but that can be easier said than done when it's been a long day of running errands with multiple kiddos or trying to change the pull-ups off your 2 yr old who is supposed to be telling you when he has to go number 2 but instead is doing the Mexican hat dance in his feces while you yank the pull-ups from his ankles.
(Based on a true event- while watching someone else's kid.)
Figure out when your workout will best give you that energy boost! On the way home from grocery shopping this week, right before my husband was going to get home, I suddenly felt so tired I could fall asleep BUT instead of crashing, I popped Josh in the stroller and did two quick laps around the block.
So instead of being on the couch like my lazy, cranky self wanted to when Ben got home, I was revitalized and alert when he came home ready to spend time with us.
Think about it, how tiring would it be if your spouse was constantly putting himself down for his weight in front of you or trying on all of his clothes and complaining about how nothing fits? (I 100% give permission to pregnant women to do this though because seriously nothing fits).
When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you exude confidence and it affects MANY aspects of your relationship.
When you're confident with your body, you're able to be a gift to your husband (just as your husband should be to you) as God intended because you're not letting your insecurities get in the way.
Heck, you'll even be excited to sport some new lingerie because you're not wasting precious time and years hating your body.
3.) MOOD BOOST
Lastly, my marriage is POSITIVELY affected by the boost of endorphines I get from exercise.
The mood of the mom generally sets the tone of the household. This is how it was growing up and I'm sure how it will be for my own home.
Would you like to be the cranky mom who has everyone walking around on eggshells, or would you like to be the joyful mom who is able to have a sense of humor instead of snapping?
Working out helps me to be the optimistic person I usually am by giving me an outlet to lower my stress levels.
Let me know if there are any other ways exercise has been a blessing in your marriage! As always, let me know if you have any questions or would like me to help you, personally, on your workout journey!