We live for the weekends! After a long work week, we hit our weekends even harder. We each have our independent workout routines during the week, so we use the weekend for fun workout activities we can do together.
Now, keep in mind, couples fitness is not always easy or the best option for all forms of exercise. We’ve had to finesse a few of our routines and goals for the betterment of our marriage. Ha! So, here are a few things I like to keep in mind when planning our weekend activities that involve working out together and couples fitness.
Have Fun and Play
This one is the most important for me. Weekends are for refreshing, having fun, and resetting before the work week resumes. Every weekend I like to plan one activity that is just fun --not competitive and not hard-core --just fun. A time to play around and remember that life’s too short to take everything so seriously all the time.
For a fun activity, on the first Saturdays of the month, we have been heading to the Santa Fe Climbing Center for locals day. It is so much fun! It is a great indoor climbing gym, with a huge bouldering area and a large selection of routes for all levels of climber. With self-belaying lines, it’s a great place to try new things and build your forearm strength, while laughing at each other and climbing around like kids.
Find Something You Both Love
We both love cycling. I grew up mountain biking in Taos and Nic competed in triathlons in college, so between the two of us, we have quite a few biking miles under our belts. To try something a little new, we started renting tandem bikes when we first started dating and both fell in love with it! For our second Christmas together, we gifted each other our trusty tandem bike which we have affectionately named Beluga. She’s a heavy beast!
Riding our tandem bike is one of my favorite couples activities on clear, crisp days. We get to stay together for the entire ride and enjoy the moment with each other, while still getting a great workout and marveling at our beautiful northern New Mexican views. This weekend we are competing in the Santa Fe Half Century on our tandem, so wish us luck! We’ll post our results on Instagram and Facebook, so stay tuned.
Challenge Each Other But Don't Push Each Other
You know the saying, “You should never try to teach your spouse”? Well, that saying came from somewhere and has merit. As young and cocky newlyweds you may think, “But we’re ok. We really know each other and work well together. We won’t fight over this.” Well, I was that cocky newlywed that said, “Of course I can teach you how to ski, honey!”
Growing up in Taos, I was an avid skier. Fortunate to have been trained by an awesome ski school and spending every winter on the mountain, skiing is one of my favorite sports! Now Nic, growing up in dry, hot Albuquerque, had only snowboarded a few times. So, after a few months of dating, I wanted to hit the slopes.
For our first ski date, we went to Ski Santa Fe and Nic did awesome! I mean, really awesome! He was going down blues in no time, had control, and was skiing with decent form. So, of course, I got super excited and decided to take him up to my home mountain, Taos Ski Valley. He continued to do awesome on the blues, so we tried a few of the easier blacks. The whole time I’m thinking, “Yes! This is great! We’ll be backcountry skiing in no time.” Then... the big fall. The kind of fall where you lose your skis and your confidence. So, I ski over to talk him through getting his skis back on and he glares at me and says “I’m so done with you right now.” Uh-oh! I had definitely pushed him too far.
This is my prime example of it’s ok to challenge each other to try new things but it is not ok to push each other. Coming from totally different skill levels, it is so important to keep in mind that your comfort zone is not the same as your spouse or significant other. Some things you can teach your spouse, no problem, but others are better left to the experts. It’s important to let people learn new things at their own level, not yours.
Though all’s well that ends well, right? After that, I took a step back and made an effort to not push Nic too hard and let him learn at his own pace and he continue to excel and thrive on the slopes. Today, Nic is an awesome skier and this has become one of our favorite couples activities during winter!
Know When You Prefer to Workout Alone
On the flipside, Nic is super into heavy weightlifting. He is constantly wanting me to lift heavy and do kettlebell workouts with him in the mornings. But one, I’m not a morning person, and two, I just want to do yoga in the mornings, which by the way, Nic hates. So, instead of trying to force each other to do activities we don’t want to do, we each have our own morning workout routines. Nic leaves early and goes to the YMCA to do his heavy lifting, while I enjoy a peaceful and relaxing morning with my yoga practice. That way we both start our days off right! Not all exercise and fitness should be done as a couple. Plus, having your alone time is so important.
I want to end on this note to emphasize the importance of being outside and enjoying the outdoors together as a couple. Working inside at rather sedentary jobs, we both need to be outside as much as possible on the weekends for our sanity and wellbeing. Our favorite couples activity of all is hiking and backpacking with our fur-babes. We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place that offers gorgeous and accessible mountains just minutes away. We have all four seasons and make the most of the great outdoors by exploring year-round. Hikes are also extremely easy to tune to your mood, whether you want a challenging all-day or overnight summit hike, or just a nice hour-long evening hike to enjoy the sunset. It’s also a great way to bond with our fur-babes and catch up with each other after a long work day.