For the past few weeks I’ve been working out pretty consistently. I do miss days here and there but unlike before, a cold or family crisis isn’t enough to keep me from coming back. Each class I attend lasts for approximately one hour. While I could think of a million things I could do during that hour I also realize that each day time slips away regardless of what I am doing. So I decided the least I could do was invest an hour into myself. It’s led by a supportive trainer and filled with kind encouraging students and the best part — I get to bring my baby so while I can’t use “I have my baby with me” as an excuse not to work out, I also don’t have to worry about leaving her behind since I still tend to struggle with that. Now that summer is here both my girls go with me which means my daughters get to learn the importance of self-care not just by my words but my actions. But they aren’t the only ones benefiting from my exercise regimen. My husband and I are too and in particular our marriage.
Exercise has numerous benefits and many of them trickle into your relationships with the people you love. Here are 12 ways exercise can benefit your relationship:
12 Ways Exercise Can Benefit Your Relationship 1 of 13
Find out 12 ways exercise can benefit your relationship!
Increased Energy 2 of 13
Not long ago my husband told me that he noticed I have more energy than I did before. I'm not walking around as sluggish or constantly complaining about being tired. I have more energy to invest in my family and my relationship.
Happier Mood 3 of 13
I'm much happier and less depressed these days. While some of that can be attributed to a career change (although I admit sometimes being a freelancer can be stressful and scary) and the joy our little one has brought to our family and our lives; a lot of it has to do with my exercising. According to The Huffington Post, "Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria."
Less Stress and Anxiety 4 of 13
I still stress out about stuff and struggle with feeling anxious when it comes to the "unknown" but I've noticed a huge improvement in this and so has my Mr. Part of it has to do with personal growth and increased faith but I imagine part of it has to do with the fact that I'm exercising and all those released endorphins are doing their thing.
Increased Confidence 5 of 13
I may not be comfortable rockin some of the cute clothes I used to wear but I feel better than I've felt in my skin since giving birth and that shows. Most men tend to think the sexiest thing about a woman is confidence and my husband definitely likes when the manner in which I carry myself exudes confidence. Yes, it could be better but I'm getting there. The Huffington Post notes that "regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person's perception of his or her attractiveness."
Me Time 6 of 13
My husband is always encouraging me to take time out for myself. And although technically I am not by myself exercise gives me something else to focus on aside from my writing. I am able to release stress and I always feel a sense of accomplishment post workout. I almost always return home in a happy more relaxed mood and I feel good knowing that I made it a point to do something for me.
An Improved Diet 7 of 13
I still am weak when it comes to sweets but I'm reaching for them less often than I used to. While breastfeeding inspired me to improve my diet, exercising has deepened my desire to make my nutrition a priority. For me it isn't just eating healthy meals but eating regularly and taking a moment to stop during the course of my day to sit and enjoy healthy snacks with my kids rather than scarfing down cookies during naptime. Since working out I have noticed that if I eat too much junk food I feel sluggish and a sluggish me is no fun to be around. I also almost always get upset and have a mini pity party afterwards. When I eat right I don't have to worry about feeling guilty or frustrated, not to mention I love when I am able to inspire my husband to make more healthy food choices.
Getting Your Sexy Back 8 of 13
I still have my frumpy days but I've been making more of an effort to de-frump more often and make just as much effort as I did back when my husband and I were dating. When we go out sometimes I'll put on a little makeup or break out high heels because I know how much he loves when I wear them.
Healthier 9 of 13
As cited by the Mayo Clinic research shows that physical activity reduces the likelihood of various health issues including cancer, stroke and heart disease. I want my husband and I to live long healthy lives together.
More Sleep 10 of 13
Sleep deprivation has become a part of our lives with the arrival of our littlest but now that I'm exercising I've noticed that I'm handling it much better (the fact that I've got an adorable little one helps too of course). According to the Mayo Clinic, "regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep."
More Lovemaking 11 of 13
Not only do I have more energy but I'm starting to feel better about myself (refer back to "More confidence"). My body isn't where I want it to be but I feel good knowing that I'm making lifestyle changes that are not just resulting in physical changes but emotional and mental ones too. Additionally exercise can play a role in our sex drives. The Mayo Clinic reports "regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women."
A Chance to Bond 12 of 13
Occasionally we'll go for walks as a family but nowadays we make even more of an effort to get out of the house and enjoy all the good things life has to offer us whether it is walking around the halls of a museum or along the beach. I admit for a period of time I struggled to go places because I was tired or too hung up on my weight but I was missing out on precious time with my family.
Support 13 of 13
A big part of my weight gain was pregnancy but early on in my pregnancy, due to morning stickiness being so severe, I lost a ton of weight. Not to mention, prior to becoming pregnant I was actually over weight -- married with a muffin top. My struggle with my weight has reaffirmed the importance of spousal support. My husband doesn't give me a hard time about my weight, instead he encourages me on those days when I don't want to work out, he doesn't bring home sweets as often (besides let's face it, I have no self-control in that area) nor does he give me a hard time when I want to savor a dessert or two. More importantly, he inspires me by making an effort to exercise and take better care of himself too. Together we both are making an effort to be more proactive when it comes to our health.
What are some additional ways exercise can be beneficial to your marriage?
Photos Source: iStockphoto
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