There are dozens upon dozens upon dozens of reasons to exercise. Yet I still have a difficult time hauling myself to the gym. When the school year begins in full force, my plan is to stick to a Monday Zumba class, Tuesday workout in the fitness center at the Y, and a Wednesday weights class. (Also, a Thursday night happy hour, but who’s keeping track?) Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays will be for walks and bike rides, with a few sessions of YMCA workouts or an exercise DVD if the weather is disagreeable.
Even with a schedule set in stone, I find myself tempted to skip exercise, so I thought I’d put a new spin on the reasons why working up a sweat is something that’s worth my time and effort: exercise will improve our marriage. Inspired by the Chicago Tribune and Engaged Marriage, I’ve compiled ways that exercise will benefit our relationship. All of the facts in bold are from reputable sources,* but the commentary is mine. Feel free to add more benefits in the comments section!
Exercise improves your mood. The phrase “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” comes to mind. Rotten moods are contagious, but luckily, so are happy moods. Exercise can stop a bad mood before it starts.
Exercise boosts your energy level. Getting in better shape can improve your relationship – you can both go on a long walk without getting winded, or spend a morning in the garden together without stopping to rest.
Exercise helps manage your weight. Just as importantly as a physical benefit, your mental health will get a boost. Feeling confident about your appearance can go a long way.
Exercise promotes better sleep. Who’s in a great mood after a terrible sleep? Certainly not me. I know that it’s easier for me to be in a positive mood all day if I can wake up on the right side of the bed, which usually happens after a peaceful night’s sleep.
Exercise can put the spark back in your sex life. Beyond the good mood and increased endurance, exercise has the power to increase arousal in women and decrease erectile dysfunction in men.
Exercise improves your health. From cancer to diabetes to the common cold, regular exercisers have resistance to disease. A serious illness can put excessive strain on a marriage, but even something as small as the sniffles makes me cranky. And, as the theme seems to be, a happy wife=a happy husband (and vice versa!).
Exercise can be fun. A hike at a state park trail, a YMCA class, a walk downtown, basketball at the local elementary school. All of these things count as exercise, and can be turned into a date… two in one! Quality time and exercise together… count me in.
Exercise improves learning. Maybe I’ll finally remember to fill the gas tank before it hits the Empty marker… or perhaps we’ll start doing more sodoku puzzles together. Though this might not fit hand in hand with marriage as well as the other benefits, I certainly think it’s worth noting!
* Sources include Mayo Clinic, Center for Disease Control, US News