Monday, May 7, 2012

Work Out Together

It’s hard for most couples to find time to spend together or even something that they can do together as a couple. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, just that we have to work at it a little more than we might want to. Yet, it’s through the time that we spend together, in a variety of pursuits, that we are able to draw closer together or maintain our relationship.

Simply put, investing time in your relationship is investing time in your marriage. That makes it worthwhile, in and of itself. Your work isn’t more important than your marriage, yet all too often; it’s treated as if it is.

One of the tricks to spending time together is to find something that you are going to do on a regular basis and put it on your schedule. I’ve talked a number of times about making Friday night your date night. For my wife and I, our date time is Wednesday lunch. It’s the same idea, just a different time. We’ve also added another regular activity to that, that of working out together at the gym.

I’ve got to confess, I’m not real excited about this one. While I go to the gym with my wife, I’ll have to say that I do so reluctantly. Not reluctant to go there with her, just reluctant to go work out at all. However, we were forced into the place of making some decisions about our health, and part of those decisions was that we needed to exercise.

Maybe you haven’t hit that point in your life yet, but for many of us, reaching 50 is the great equalizer. Things start happening to the body at about 50, which we never through would happen to us. When they do, we’re stuck with the problem of what to do about it. We can go on like nothing has happened (which many people do) or we can start making some lifestyle changes; especially in the areas of diet and exercise.

While working out together isn’t the most fun thing that I can think of doing, it is something that we can do together. Having an exercise buddy makes working out a little bit easier, as you can encourage one another; and who better to be an exercise buddy, than your best friend, your wife?

Besides the time you get to spend together and the encouragement you can give to one another, there are some very tangible benefits to going to the gym together. More than anything, it will help keep both of you younger, longer. Which is better, gong to the gym, or becoming an invalid in your old age? You see, my wife and I don’t go to the gym to try and get our bodies buff; we go to try and maintain or even improve our health. That way, we can enjoy our life together all that much longer, instead of one of us having to be a nurse to the other.

There are some gifts in life which are even more important than flowers and chocolate, one of them is health. By getting a gym membership together, then using that membership together, you are giving each other the gift of health. That says that you care about her.

Now, if you’re the sports fanatic type or the bodybuilder type and your wife isn’t, she may not see a membership to the gym as a gift. In fact, she’ll probably see it as a complaint; you complaining that you’re not satisfied with her (especially her body) the way she is. Be careful about that. You want to approach it from a viewpoint of wanting her to stay healthy, so the two of you can enjoy your marriage that much longer, not “you need to work out.” By approaching it correctly and being patient, you can convince her.

If you do work out together, never forget to encourage her. Don’t expect her to be as strong as you, able to lift as much weight as you or to have as much endurance as you. Women aren’t built like men. Their bodies have a different type of strength. Compliment her on what she does and on the progress she makes. A switch from 5 lbs. to 10 lbs. on a particular machine is still a 100% increase, no matter how you look at it. That’s worth celebrating.

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