In sickness and in health… Whether this common phrase was part of your wedding vows or not, if you’re like most couples, you didn’t spend too much time dwelling on the what-if’s that are implied. Instead you were focused on making a lifelong commitment and the general idea of sticking by each other through all of life’s ups and downs. And it’s understandable. One of the exciting parts of getting married is envisioning your future together – sharing dreams, setting goals, and seeing yourselves growing old together.
One major assumption that underlies all of the hopes and dreams you have for a long life together is that you’ll both be healthy enough to be there through it all. While there are plenty of scenarios that are out of your hands, one thing you do have some control over is whether healthy living is part of your marriage. Here are 4 ways to prioritize a healthy lifestyle together.
1. Explore hobbies that promote wellbeing.
Hiking, pickle ball, golf, bike rides, you name it, there are so many activities you can enjoy together that can help keep your bodies and minds healthy. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Even things like planting and tending a garden of your own fresh fruits and vegetables or volunteering together can benefit your overall heath. Plus, when you do these things together, it also makes it easy to prioritize quality time with each other as well.
2. Support each other in keeping a good work-life balance.
Constantly being stressed and overworked can have negative effects on both your physical and mental health. Supporting each other in establishing healthy work-life boundaries can help you both stick to them. When you’re holding each other accountable and have both adopted the same mindset, you’ll be much more likely to follow through on actually closing your laptop at 5 pm or not taking work calls on the weekends. It can also be helpful to learn to recognize when you or your spouse is starting to feel over-stressed or burnt out so that you can begin taking steps to regain balance.
3. Get aligned on financial priorities.
You might be wondering how this is related to health, but hear us out. When you are on the same page about your finances – priorities, budget, goals, etc. – you can determine whether you can put money into things like gym memberships, new at-home equipment, or organic groceries – or if more cost-effective options would be a better choice for the time being. Maybe you want to set a goal to save up for a Peloton or build a financial cushion so you can quit a toxic job. These money-related decisions ultimately impact your health.
4. Consider how children/family will affect your priorities.
If you have children or are planning to someday, do you anticipate needing to adjust your current priorities? When children are in the picture, life takes on a different pace and dynamic. You’ll have different demands on your time, energy, and resources, and that might mean shifting priorities a bit, even if it’s only temporary. Consider what health-related values you want to instill in your family. In what ways will you prioritize health and wellbeing for all of you as a family, and how will you work together to do that? Remember that seemingly small habits and actions on your end can set examples that have a big impact. Think playing outside with your kids every evening in the summer, going on regular family walks or bike rides, and letting them help prep fruits and veggies for dinner. These seem like simple, normal things, but they are all great ways to normalize and integrate healthy living into your daily life.
Physical health, as well as mental and emotional wellness, are important parts of bringing your best self to your marriage. It’s also crucial to being there for your spouse and family today, and decades down the road. And that’s why doing what you can to prioritize healthy living together is one of the greatest gifts you can give your marriage.