10 ways to be a healthy couple

Disclaimer: This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Ambassador Program. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

February is Heart Month! And I don’t just mean the month of Valentine’s Day (although it is an appropriate coincidence – or maybe not a coincidence?). Heart Month is an international campaign to increase awareness of heart health and promote heart healthy lifestyles.

GoodLife Healthy Heart Challenge

Now it’s pretty common knowledge what a heart healthy lifestyle entails – but the difficulty often lies in actually doing it. Sometimes we just need an extra push to find the motivation! So my gym GoodLife Fitness has teamed up with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto to host a 28 Day Heart Healthy Challenge. You can join in on Facebook if you’re interested and use the hashtag #IHeartExercise on social media!

In today’s post I wanted to take a romantic twist on living healthily (since it is Valentine’s Day this weekend) and write about being healthy as a couple! People tend to slack on their healthy lifestyles when they join coupledom – I know, I’ve been there. Date nights at pizza parlours, opting to sleep in and be lazy on weekends instead of working out, and enjoying baked goods are all fine in moderation, but sometimes they can start to happen too often when you have a significant other! So today I want to share 10 tips for how to be healthy as a couple. And yes, some of them may be cheesy. It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow though, so I think cheesiness is fully justified!

10 ways to be a healthy couple

1. Get in some extra activity  and catch up on each others’ days by going on a walk around the neighbourhood together after dinner. Walking after a meal lowers your blood sugar and can reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease in the long term. Also it will make you appreciate that hour you spend on the couch afterwards so much more!

10 ways to be a healthy couple

2. Find an active hobby you enjoy doing together like biking, joining a recreational dodgeball league, or rock climbing. Bonus: according to Psychology Today, exercising together can help increase your emotional bond and leave you feeling more satisfied in your relationship.

3. Make it a routine to go to the farmers market together on Saturday mornings and pick out fruits and vegetables for the week. Try to pick out a variety of colours to reap the benefits of all the different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that produce has to offer.

10 ways to be a healthy couple

4. Unwind together over a drink at the end of the week – and it doesn’t have to be red wine! Red wine is known as a heart healthy drink, but a study from last year has changed its reputation. The antioxidant in red wine, resveratrol, actually has no link to longevity or decreased heart disease. But good news: people who drink moderate amounts* of alcohol do have a slightly lower risk of heart disease (source). So pour yourself a glass and enjoy! *Note: click here to read about alcohol intake guidelines for men and women.

5. Go out for sushi together (opt for the rolls that aren’t fried or served with a mayonnaise-based sauce, and ask for the lower sodium soy sauce) instead of fast food. The omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in fish can lower your risk of heart disease through reducing your blood triglyceride levels, improving your heart function, and reducing blood clotting (source).

10 ways to be a healthy couple

6. For date night, make healthier versions of your favourite foods together instead of going out. Try making a veggie loaded homemade pizza on whole wheat crust or homemade baked chicken fingers with baked sweet potato fries.

7. Enjoy a bowl of air-popped popcorn on movie night. Popcorn is a whole grain and a good source of fibre, which is good for heart health! But watch the toppings. Use a small amount of real butter and go easy on the salt. Or experiment with any of these healthy popcorn topping ideas.

10 ways to be a healthy couple - popcorn

8. Find a comedy show to start watching regularly together. Fighting stress is an overlooked but important way to reduce risk of heart disease, and laughing is a great way to do this!

9. Treat each other with chocolate on special occasions – but make sure it’s at least 60% dark chocolate. Real dark chocolate contains flavonoids that may reduce risk of heart disease (source).

10. Support each other in your individual health goals. Making lifestyle and dietary changes can be hard, overwhelming, and stressful. Having support from someone you love is crucial!

GIVEAWAY (NOW CLOSED)

To help you achieve your fitness goals, GoodLife Fitness is giving away a prize pack that consists of a free 3 month GoodLife Fitness membership, a GoodLife Fitness gym bag and water bottle, and an “I Heart Exercise” t-shirt in your size! To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with the following:

What is one way you can think of to stay healthy as a couple?

You can win additional entries by doing the following and commenting to indicate you’ve done them:

1. Join the 28 Day Healthy Heart Challenge event on Facebook
2. Follow Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen and GoodLife Fitness on Instagram
3. Tweet about the giveaway: “Win a @GoodLifeFitness prize pack including a FREE 3 month membership from @healthychels. Enter here: http://wp.me/p3QHsK-4Gf #IHeartExercise”

Giveaway ends on February 28 at 12:00 pm EST and is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) only. Good luck!

50 Comments

Filed under nutrition

50 Responses to 10 ways to be a healthy couple

  1. Great ideas! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can start going for walks after dinner again. So lovely along the centennial bikepath or the lakeshore. Will all of those crazy snow/iceberg formations ever melt? Geez. Have a fabulous Valentines Weekend!

    • Chelsea

      I love walking in downtown Burlington in the summer too – especially when that walk involves a stop at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe haha!

  2. Do yoga together! It’s really fun and also helps with stress :) Great post!

  3. In the summer We play whiffle ball at the beach and go paddle boarding, plus we are both runners and make time for that everyday!

    • Chelsea

      The summer is such a great season for outdoor couple activities! I’d love to try paddle boarding with my guy this summer – thanks for the idea. :)

  4. My boyfriend and I don’t attend the same gym, but we like to keep healthy by helping each other make good food choices. It’s some of the hardest we both deal with, and having someone to lean on it the best thing to have.

    • Chelsea

      That’s great! Making good food choices as a couple can definitely be hard, especially if one person is more health conscious than the other. That’s great you guys support each other though!

  5. Great ideas, for galentines day will you at least go for sushi with me and we’ll call it a workout? I followed on instgram, facebook and tweeted! In it to win it!

  6. haha so when Chef-friend came to visit me, I ate more food than I think I ever have in my life. BUT I got him to go rock climbing and to yoga with me, and before I moved he came to Bodypump with me. Kinda evened things out? Maybe a little?

    • Chelsea

      Sounds like a good balance too me! ;) I’d love to do yoga with JZ sometime – I think we could both use the time to destress!

  7. These are all great tips! I love going on evening walks and talking. It’s a good way to combine activity and quality time. And I wish I had the time to make weekly trips to the farmers market on Saturday! I love when we get to do that together but I’m usually at home trying to make the most of natural light. Hopefully one day that will change! ;)

    Happy love day!

    • Chelsea

      Evening walks with JZ are definitely something I want to start doing once the weather is nice. If it ever gets nice… this winter has been brutal!

  8. Geeze, Chels. What did Quebec ever do to you to exclude them ;)

    I love how you added Sushi in there. A couple that eats sushi together, stays together.

  9. edmontonjb

    A great way to stay healthy as a couple is to take some healthy cooking classes together

    Jonnie

  10. edmontonjb

    I joined the healthy heart challenge on facebook as Jonnie JB Hartling

  11. edmontonjb

    I like you and Goodlife on instagram as edmontonjb

  12. Love it Chelsea! Steve and I are pretty good at most of these, although he hates sushi…..or he thinks he does……he seems to eat it fine when we have it, but whenever I mention it he says yuck! Either way, we are doing well, and these are some great ideas! Popcorn night sounds like a good idea!

    • Chelsea

      Haha that’s funny! JZ hated sushi when we started dating, but I made him try it once and then he started liking it after that. Now he’s the one asking ME if I want to go out for sushi!

  13. Hi Chelsea! Happy Valentine’s Day. You know, it would be pretty hard to stay healthy if your other half wasn’t part of it. My husband and I have separate workout routines, but we do try to eat healthy together. And last night we had sushi (nothing fried) and a drink, so we followed some tips on your list! Today, maybe a little walk is in order! Good post!

    • Chelsea

      Hey Ashley, I definitely agree that it’s hard to be healthy if your SO isn’t. But the good thing is that even if your SO isn’t into healthy living, some healthy habits tend to rub off on them after a while!

  14. I just tried to leave a comment but I’m not sure if it worked so I’ll try again! We are new parents to a baby boy and we are motivating each other to stay healthy by preparing healthy lunches together/for each other every night. By prepping a balanced lunch and snacks with protein, fresh veggies and fruit, I am eating better while on maternity leave (the baby weight won’t go away on its own!) and my husband isn’t relying on fast food anymore now that he has healthy, tasty food with him at his desk. It’s taken some work but so far we’re doing okay! P.S. I joined the Facebook page and I am following both Instagram accounts. @savvari from Twitter

    • Chelsea

      Sandy, I love this! It’s awesome to hear about you and your husband making such great efforts to eat healthily. I’m sure it isn’t easy when you have a new baby boy in the picture (congrats by the way), so it’s really inspiring to hear stories like yours. Good luck to both of you!

  15. Candice R

    Cook together! Not only does it help relieve stress but it also makes you both aware and accountable for what you are putting in your food. :)

  16. Candice R

    Joined the facebook event!

  17. Hayley

    Great list! We work out together a lot and make healthy food for each other :)

  18. zahra premji

    We play hockey together and that motivates both of us to stay healthy and fit. We also make an effort to have breakfast together which we both think is important

  19. zahra premji

    Joined the event on FB as well

  20. Stephanie

    One way that my man and I stay healthy is that we cook meals together. We’ve only started doing this in the past few months, and so far its been making a big difference. We eat lots more fruits and veggies now and practically nothing from a box. I have more energy during the day because of it. Favs are chili, thai curry and homemade pizza.
    I joined the challenge on FB
    I follow your and Goodlife’s instagram accounts as stephchd

    Cheers!
    Stephanie

    • Chelsea

      Stephanie that’s awesome that you guys have started cooking together! It’s much easier to find the motivation to cook from scratch when you have a partner in crime. Homemade pizza is one of my faves too. ;)

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  22. Every evening share a healthy meal and tell each other what you ate all day.

  23. EVA

    Well, I’m 19 and have never even been on a date (sniff sniff!), but I DO have a twin sister and I count that as the dreamiest couple in existence! We love to play tennis together once they put the nets up down at the local courts. We’ve played all our lives, and it feels so good to get out there and run around!

    But this is a great post for not just couples. I’m totally using this for myself and I live alone! Any excuse to get to the farmer’s market when I’m super busy is a great post to me!

    • Chelsea

      Good point – this list definitely doesn’t need to apply to just couples. That’s awesome that you have a twin sister to share a healthy lifestyle with! :)

  24. Victoria Ess

    We try go to the gym together and also do fun activities together like rollerblading and yoga.

  25. Victoria Ess

    Following both you and GoodLife Fitness on Instagram (victoriaess2)

  26. The Hubby and I actually work out together on weekends and he is my biggest prep chef. He doesn’t love going to farmers markets but he will chop the hell out of a bell pepper. :)

    • Chelsea

      Haha that sounds like a good set up to me! John doesn’t ever do prep work, but he always does the dishes and clean up. I can’t complain about that!

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  28. My boyfriend and I go to the gym once a week together. Although we both love to work out on our own during the weekdays (since we have such a busy schedule), we make it a fun day by working out once a week. It is motivating to show each other our progress. =D

    • Chelsea

      Working out together everyday is definitely unrealistic for most couples, but I love that you make an effort to go workout together once a week!

  29. Also, followed both account on IG under name: @mmmagscheung

  30. Melanie D

    I love signing up for local running events with my boyfriend. Luckily, as he is a relatively new runner, I am faster than him!!!! He is stronger, smarter and wittier than me, so I am thrilled with my one small victory :)

    I joined the event and follow both accounts on insta!! @melzzzzzzzzz

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