For those of us who value health and wellness, we’re passionate about looking and feeling our personal best. We crave routine for the discipline but also welcome new challenges to push ourselves past our limits.
But even when working out is a priority and way of life, you may need a little extra push to keep you going every once in a while. Or a reminder to take it easy if you have a tendency to go overboard. Recruiting loved ones to join you on your wellness journey can also help motivate you to try new things and push you out of your comfort zone.
And it also works the other way around. If your partner, best friend or family member doesn’t care as much about health and wellness as you do, your motivation can simply help keep her on track.
When you work together as a team, you positively influence each other to stay balanced and healthy, feel stronger, and regain confidence. It’s no secret that when both partners take care of their individual wellness, the relationship thrives. But of course, this works with all sorts of relationships, which is why I talk about “loved ones” generally, a group that can include friends, family members and co-workers, as well as your partner, fiancé or spouse.
I work with brides-to-be on developing customized wellness programs leading up to the big day, and this can become particularly valuable when it comes to the stress of wedding planning. A common request I’ve received from brides-to-be is ideas to get their fiancés excited about working out with them in the lead up to the wedding.
So here are some ideas that came from that request, but they can be used by anyone who wants to recruit their loved ones to join their wellness journey:
1. Try the New & Bold
Go ahead and try that new creative and/or daring thing that you always wanted to try. Maybe it’s rock climbing in Long Island City, a cycling event, or signing up for a 10K. Allow your partner and/or group of friends to act as a safety net if it feels scary (think the trapeze scene from “Sex and the City”). Trying new things will also keep it interesting, light, and fun.
2. Outdoor Workouts + Brunch
For some people, there’s no greater motivator to work out than stopping to grab a great brunch (with a mimosa or bloody mary) on the stroll back home. Schedule a morning with your partner and/or a group of friends to go for a run or rollerblade in the park, followed by a hearty meal. Also, it’s completely okay to use this as a “cheat meal” for the week - you’ve earned it.
3. Join a Social Sports Team
Summer is here, which means outdoor exercise and sports are in season. Take advantage of the season and check out ZogSports, whether that means joining a sports team through your company, or simply getting a group of friends together and forming a tennis or dodgeball tournament. If you have a lot of friends who are coupled up, mix it up by choosing the opposite team from your partner. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy, fun competition to keep each other on your toes.
4. Explore New Restaurants
When trying to eat healthy, it can get pretty monotonous to constantly eat the same lean
proteins and vegetables for dinner while watching reruns of “Shark Tank” and “Impractical Jokers” (can you tell this is hitting close to home?) Finding new, healthy restaurants with your partner and/or friends will expand your social horizons but also motivate you to stay on the healthy track. Bonus: pick a new restaurant across town and get your exercise by walking there and back, or taking a Citibike.
5. Dance, Dance, Dance!
The best thing about going out dancing is that you don’t even feel like you’re working out, if you’re really in the moment. When it comes to New York City, Mehanata Bulgarian Bar and the Jane Hotel Ballroom are great places to really let loose and dance the night away. If you’re not into the “club scene”, there are plenty of great venues with live music like Cafe Wha? Or try dance lessons like those offered at Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club.
6. Meditate Together
Because meditation allows you to remove distractions, remain in the present, and decrease stress, it only makes sense that meditating with your loved one opens up the space for you both to focus on what is important (and each other). There is also a sense of follow through and accountability when meditating with someone else (or in a group class setting). You become increasingly aware and focused on your intentions.
7. Potluck Dinner Party
Come up with a cuisine theme with your partner or friends and bring ingredients to cook your contributing recipe. Not only is this a fun social activity that can become a weekly or monthly tradition (and can switch locations), but you are also able to control what you are putting into your food, so that you can stay healthy and explore different ingredients.
8. Effective Communication and Cues
When we think of taking care of our health, we generally think about nutrition and fitness, first and foremost. But wellness also has to do with self-care and self-advocacy. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in while still being respectful and listening to the points of views of your partner and friends. And the more consistent we are with taking care of our minds and bodies, the more clear and effective our communication becomes - ultimately strengthening our relationships with others.
It’s important to remain independent in any relationship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on your partner or loved ones every now and then when you need a little boost of encouragement.
Brides-to-be can understandably feel overwhelmed, scattered, and start to develop obsessive thinking (whether that has to do with event logistics or intense fitness regimens leading up to the big day).
That’s why it’s important to step back, take a deep breath, have fun, and get social.
To celebrate summer and the height of wedding season, I'm offering my "Finishing Touches" package totally FREE of charge to one lucky bride. This package includes up to 4 Coaching sessions (including Concierge services, if requested) or up to 6 Pilates sessions!
To enter, please email me a brief note at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why you are interested and what you are hoping to achieve from this experience by Monday, July 17th, 2017. I'll choose one winner to redeem the sessions (package expires Friday, December 1st, 2017 and recommended over a course of four consecutive weeks). 10 other gals will receive a special prize. Winners will be notified via email on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017.
All entrants will also receive a FREE Wellness Guide (including fitness advice, nutrition info, self-care strategies, date night ideas with your fiancé, and more). You can also enter via www.melaniekotcher.com.