How To Use Your Relationship To Be Your Fittest Ever

Photo by Courtesy of Jamie Krauss Hess

The most successful relationships are the kind where both parties feel they are transformed into the best versions of themselves by being together. Having a built-in life partner is such an amazing opportunity for growth if both people are on board with a genuine desire to evolve daily.

I have developed some simple tricks with my husband to help keep each other on track and support our mutual goals of becoming better every day—from a fitness perspective and in other aspects our our lives as well. Here are a few we find helpful:

1. Become accountability buddies.

Here’s how it works: Say one of us is heading to the gym with a plan to run 4 miles. We’ll set the intention by letting the other one know our plan, and then we'll text a picture of the treadmill dashboard at the end to prove that we completed our goal. It seems simple, but it really mitigates that “maybe I’ll just do 3 miles and hop off” thinking, and helps us move toward achieving goals and feeling proud of ourselves after a workout.

2. Share a daily gratitude text.

Getting grounded in gratitude is a terrific way to develop a positive mindset and reframe any negative thoughts that creep in. We like to do it midmorning, once we’ve begun the workday and may be starting to feel the typical anxiety of our respective workloads. We share one thing we are grateful for that day and spend a moment focusing on all of our positive gifts from the universe. It makes the minutiae of work stress seem a lot less daunting in the grand scheme of things.

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3. Set a daily meditation practice together.

Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or a beginner, everyone can benefit from getting quiet, centered, and focused. The problem is, most of us say we want to meditate but then never do it. We kept reading about successful people who meditate as part of their morning ritual and realized that if these CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of industry could find a few moments to get quiet, then we probably could too. Making it a joint practice can be very helpful. We like to use Gaiam’s Meditation Studio App, which has short (some two- and five-minute) meditations. That’s truly all it takes to feel the positive benefits of meditation.

4. Schedule your workouts for the week (and make them nonnegotiable!).

Sunday is a great day to take a look at your week together and schedule your workouts. Once they’re set, help each other make sure they are a priority. Work and family life can get hectic, but without prioritizing wellness, we are no good to anyone else. Make sure you’ve made any necessary arrangements—pack your bag the night before an early workout, arrange child care, etc.—to ensure you don’t get stuck having to change your plans at the last minute.

5. Set goals together.

Sign up for a 5K, or even plan a warm-weather trip (hello, bathing suits!) so you have an end goal in mind and can work backward from there with a training and nutrition plan. Recently, we planned a fitness photo shoot for our Instagram handle, @NYCfitfam. This gave us a fun reason to focus on ourselves and make a joint, sustainable plan that we could follow together. We’ve also signed up for the New York City Marathon this year, a bucket-list goal for both of us! We can’t wait to hit our training runs all summer. Doing it together ensures we’ll actually follow through.

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