Just like our health, relationships need attention and tending. Study after study shows that healthy relationships enhance our health and longevity. And on the flip side, recent research shows us that a contentious relationship can actually promote heart disease. Finding ways we can enhance our relationships and build in healthy lifestyle activities becomes a win-win for Life. Here is a list of 18 Healthy Lifestyle Ideas for couples to use to enhance their relationship:
1. Embrace needed change as a couple. Buying into a healthier lifestyle together increases our odds of living longer. Studies show those in a happy marriage live longer.
2. Plan ahead to make sure to fit it in your schedule. Make your time together the priority and fit all the other obligations and things you want to do around the time you have designated for each other.
3. Cook together. Have friends over for “guinea pig” dinners with new found healthy recipes and have fun including them in your new adventure. Check out my blog for recipe ideas and the Livliga website.
4. Exercise together. Join your local community center, the YMCA or Fitness Center. Consider taking an evening Yoga class. It is a great way to relieve stress and become more relaxed mentally as well as physically.
5. Take a walk after dinner together and include your dog. Everyone in the family benefits from exercise, especially after dinner. It is a way to relax and let go of the day’s stresses and tension. If taking a walk isn’t possible, turn on Pandora and find your favorite dancing music and spend 30 minutes ” cutting the rug” together. Better yet, go back to your childhood, and have a pillow fight! You’ll find it can be a great work out and can get you smiling and laughing in no time.
6. Take a dance class together. Classes are offered through your local Parks and Recreation or YMCA at a very affordable cost. Consider learning Latin dances like the Rhumba, which makes for great, sexy, couple dancing.
7. Take a healthy cooking class together. Check out your local culinary school or gourmet kitchen store to find out what classes are available. It is a great way to explore new, healthier foods and brush up on your cooking skills.
8. Give gifts to each other that support your healthier lifestyle. Invest in Fitbits (or similar gadget) and become Fitbit friends online. Include your kids or other friends too for a little friendly competition.
9. Health issues should be used to prompt positive lifestyle changes for two. If one person has the medical issue that has forced the need for a lifestyle change it is the opportunity for both to become healthier. There is nothing lonelier than having to make diet changes without the support of loved ones…and you are less likely to succeed. Instead make it an adventure that involves everyone. It is so easy to go online and find recipes that are low carb, low fat, low in salt, vegetarian or gluten free. Make sure they include fresh ingredients. Enhance flavors by use interesting herbs or spices instead of salt. Each meal should be colorful and visually appealing.
10. Find your purpose. A life lived on purpose is a life that is much more fulfilling…and healthy. Find ways to support each other’s purpose.
11. Enhance your environment at home. Think about color–have you used colors that make you feel good? Have you used calming colors where you eat? Use right-sized dish ware. Have the right tools to cook with, serve with and measure/weigh your food. Add music and fresh flowers to each meal. Consider planting a cutting garden so you can enjoy fresh flowers in the kitchen, on the dining table and in your bedroom during the spring, summer and fall.
12. Plant an herb garden together. Gardening is great for your mental and physical health. While you are gardening go ahead and plant an herb garden for all the delicious home cooking you are doing together. Make sure to include the herbs that enhance romance like summer savory, basil and garlic.
13. Make sure to have a date night regularly. Once a week is ideal. Instead of just going out to a movie and dinner change it up and make it active. In the warmer months find a lake or reservoir and rent a paddle boat, kayak or canoe and enjoy being on the water. Take a bike ride on a new route. If you don’t own bikes, rent them for a couple of hours.
14. Volunteer together. Use your found purpose to find a great way to volunteer. Include each other when additional volunteers are needed or big events come around.
15. Sign up for a walk or run in your community. Get other friends or family to join you. Having a broader community supporting you in your healthier lifestyle makes it that much more sustainable and enjoyable.
16. Send each other encouraging text messages during the day. It can be just a smile 😀 or a brief thought–“can’t wait to see you tonight”–or even a funny joke you heard.
17. Laugh together. Swap stories about funny things that have happened. For one of your date nights go out to a local comedy club. Even a few minutes of ” fake” laughing is good for your health, releasing tension and triggering positive hormones in your body.
18. Verbalize your love and gratitude for each other. Studies show that acknowledging and expressing what is good about your life and relationships has a profound positive affect on our relationships and our health.
Need more ideas? Find blogs that are about healthy eating, exercising, fun activities and the healthy lifestyle journey. Check out the Livliga Live Vibrant blog, for instance. When you are ready, engage in the online conversation to ask questions and share your own ideas.
Make it a priority for two to eat healthier foods, in right-sized portions, get more exercise and create a beautiful, visually supportive environment to increase feeling good, which then also has the positive effect of enhancing your love and libido for each other.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!