We only have so many hours in a day and much to do, which can often mean no time for exercise.
We schedule date nights, family time, and workouts. Then we try to work in socializing with friends, self-time, God time, and of course, work or producing time. All of a sudden, life is very full, or even overflowing.
This is one area where multi-tasking can come in handy. Weaving relationships into time for exercise allows you to nurture two priorities in one time slot and live out a life of balanced wellness.
Benefits of Healthy Relationships
Relationships are an important part of overall wellness. Spending time with friends may already be part of your everyday activities. There are plenty of studies about the advantages of strong healthy relationships. Even the Bible states, “Two are better than one…” And, in industries built around teams, there is a saying that “if you’re doing it alone, you are doing it wrong.”
Here are just a few of the benefits of healthy relationships:
- Living longer
- Being able to better deal with stress
- Improved physical health
- Feeling richer
- Lower rates of depression
- Better immunity
- Improved blood pressure
Benefits of Exercise
Bouts of exercise can help:
- Weight loss or management
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
Traditional Ways We Build Relationships
Traditionally, many relationships are built around food and drinking. Consider family gatherings and reunions. They often center on foods or holiday meals. Socializing at work typically means celebrating birthdays – with cake – or year-end parties or retirements, or holiday events, and all are formed around eating. When we get together with friends for a night out, many go to a bar or coffee shop or schedule lunch. Date night involves dinner or a picnic. And while prayer and meditation don’t necessarily mean food, they often mean being sedentary.
How to Use Exercise as a Way to Build Relationships
By combining relationship-building with activities, your overall health and wellness will improve. You will be partnering and collaborating with the important people in your life to build more activity and fitness in while improving time management and making your busy life easier to manage. Some may enjoy a quick workout daily, while others want more intense exercises a few times a week. Whatever you choose, have FUN! And make “no time for exercise” a thing of the past.
Your spiritual life doesn’t have to be done sitting or indoors. I am reminded of a friend, Sherry, who began every day by walking up the mountain in her backyard to commune with God. Other activities that nurture your spiritual relationship include walking, yoga, or kayaking/canoeing across a serene lake as the sun rises.
With life’s demands, it is easy to forget about the important relationship with yourself. Considering yourself every day includes self-care, self-respect, and self-love. Your time with yourself in activity could include walking, running, hiking, horseback riding, or biking. In the winter, it might be snowshoeing or skiing.
Many of you know I’m a cyclist, and it was my husband who led me to my love of the bike. Our date nights are often date rides! And we make room for them 2-3 times a week or more. Some are fast, some involve hills, and some are long destination rides to see something new.
Jim is also a personal trainer. We met at an exercise class he was teaching. Over the years, I joined him regularly during my lunch hour at TRX fitness class at the gym. TRX is a system of bodyweight exercises.
For you and your love, experiment with activities you can teach each other or learn something new together. Some ideas include biking, kayaking, mini golf, hiking, dancing or brisk walking.
Encourage the members of your family to move more. Make being active together FUN! Family walks, bike rides, rides or runs for charity, paddleboat, canoe, kayak, paddle board, relay races or team triathlons. As a child, my family enjoyed bike rides and canoe rides. And I fondly recall a family I knew that did a team triathlon together.
My friend Jenna leads a fun and vibrant life. Three days a week, you’ll find her hiking in Woodstock, up Overlook Mountain, with as many as 5 or 6 of her girlfriends. My friend LaShelle in California rises at 4:30 a.m. twice a week to meet 7 of her girlfriends for a run before it gets hot. My girlfriend Susan and I, and sometimes Daniella, meet in the gym three times a week for weight training. If you have enough friends, you could even join a soccer or softball league. And for a special treat, you could try Trapezing!
While some of us work on our own, many have a team of colleagues or co-workers. Work softball leagues are popular, as are charity events that involve walking, biking or golf. For those more adventurous, you could experience a team-building event such as a low or high ropes course. Regardless of whether you are currently a couch potato or a seasoned athlete, lack of time when it comes to exercise and relationships should not be an excuse. Combine the two for a time saver in your week.
Make Time For Exercise and Nurture Your Relationships
I hope this has given you new ways to think about building and celebrating the important relationships in your life while also making time for exercise on a more regular basis.
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