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Exercise With Your Spouse

Back in the day... late 80’s and early 90’s, I was an Ironman competitor.

That is the insane event that some of you may have seen on the Wide World of Sports where an individual swims 2.4 miles in the ocean, hops on a bike to ride 112 miles, then completes a 26.2 mile marathon. I was in my 20’s. had no children and had a lot of time on my hands to train 2-4 hours a day.

I was lucky that my husband was a serious and very competitive bike racer. He helped me train for the longest portion of the race, the bike ride.

That was then.

After having three children, taking care of aging parents when they were living, and contributing to the family by working outside of the home, I have not trained that intensely for years.

Now, add menopause to the mix and you can imagine an entirely different body and even mindset about working out that fervently.

Still, I enjoy being active with my husband.

Men do have an advantage of not having their bodies go through as much as women, so I can no longer keep his pace when running, but we have devised a system where I still feel we are having good fun working out together.

When he wants to take a recovery day (just say it...a slow day) we ride together on a local trail for about 22 miles. It is enough for me, although most likely just a warm up for him!

We also have a short circuit where we can start out running together and he will do four or five laps while I am perfectly happy to do two or three. We toss the bikes in the back of the van and hop into our kayaks.

I know he can paddle faster, but he doesn't on the days when we are together.

We enjoy a route on the Cuyahoga River where we can paddle just over three miles to a bar and get out for a burger and a beer.

When we go back, he can paddle ahead if feeling like it, or we just paddle together the three miles back.

It is important to do something…..ANYTHING, to keep your precious body moving regularly, so why not do it with the person you love the most?

What a testament is is to show him or her how you care for your body and want to keep it running efficiently.

I have had stressful times in my life where I have stopped exercising for several months at a time, and it is frightening to see how quickly my sleep habits, food choices and temperament change. I sleep less as I am more irritable and agitated. My food choices become more salt and sugar based as my mentality flips over to “Oh Well, Who cares?”, and my whole state of mind is that of hatred and self loathing.

Add a little guilt to that as I see my husband walk in from a long bike ride, (while I secretly downed a dark chocolate bar before dinner) and you have the recipe for a real mess.

Do not let this happen to you. Do SOMETHING as often as you can with your husband or wife, and remember that a healthy body can lead to so much more. Stay healthy my friends.

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