Healthy relationships are about communication and compromise, not yoga and superfood smoothies. Except sometimes, they're about both.
While finding someone who loves sweating as much as you is not imperative, couples that do share healthy values say their partners' habits inspire them to live better—and that doing healthy things together makes them both feel happier.
To find out more about what it really takes to be in a healthy relationship, we checked in with seven uber healthy examples, in which both halves of the couple live and breathe health or fitness. Here are their thoughts on workout date nights and other habits that help keep their bond—and biceps—strong. —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photo: Melissa and Dallas Hartwig; Vanessa Martin and Samantha Rivkind Manheimer)
Their workouts are pretty different (Pilates and yoga vs. Spartan Races), but Mika Street and Dan Gluck make time to be active as a pair. "We love surfing, hiking, and playing tennis together, so we try to incorporate them into our free time," Street says. In the photo above, for example, they're about to go paragliding!
And they inspire each other. "Neither of us are 'in your face' about pushing each other to stay fit or healthy," but we both lead by example," Gluck says. "So, in addition to my own discipline, I have a constant reminder from Mika's lifestyle, habits, and discipline."
(Photo: Dan Gluck)
Jonathan Cane is Nicole Sin Quee's husband—and coach, so while he's very involved in her daily training, the couple will sometimes choose to sneak off to a yoga class when they have a babysitter for their son, Simon. "That's date night for us! If it's that or a cozy dinner for two, we always opt for the workout, which explains why we haven't seen the inside of a restaurant since October," Cane says.
They both help each other fit in training or a yoga session and really get how much of a priority it is for each other—not something every partner would sympathize with. And their healthy habits appearing to be rubbing off on Simon, too. "He does a mean down dog," says Cane.
(Photo : Mark Pfeffer)
These yoga world luminaries take each other's classes regularly, and "our practice constantly bleeds over into our love," Rodney Yee says. "Our ability to listen to each other deeply is tandem to our practice of listening to our own body, breath, and heart." This means they tend fight more fairly and treat each other with compassion, explains Colleen Saidman Yee, although they forbid "yoga talk" during arguments. (You can imagine why, right?)
In person, their affection for each other is palpable, and while it may seem like they're floating on an other-worldly cloud made of yoga-relationship Zen, they swear they're not superheroes. "If we have unscheduled time, we can spend up to four hours doing poses, breathwork, and talking yoga. But usually, we have a lot of other stuff to do like pay bills, deal with teenage drama, and conference calls," says Saidman Yee. "And I can tell you about our unhealthy habits, which are far more interesting. But we'll save that for another time!"
Here's a detail that says a lot about Vanessa Martin and Samantha Rivkind Manheimer's relationship: The happy couple met at Flywheel. Now, they've cycled their way into a relationship that involves supporting each other's fitness habits, even when they're not completely aligned.
"I love yoga and that's definitely not to her liking. In the beginning, Sam joined Pure Yoga and was doing Bikram a lot [for me], and somehow that has seamlessly fizzled out," Martin laughs. "Sam is a huge runner and has done a bunch of half marathons. It's not my forte, but I’m the best cheering section ever." Often, they'll do their respective workouts at the same time and then meet for brunch after.
And Martin says the two understand each other in a deeper way because of their shared drive to stay fit. "Most people think two-a-day workouts are insane, but she doesn't," she says. "And when I find myself constantly talking about studios, trainers, and workouts, I’d probably annoy the common person, but she gets it."
(Photo: Vanessa Martin)
Melissa and Dallas Hartwig are a husband-wife health dream team. They're both nutritionists and trainers and run an enormous online Paleo lifestyle community, Whole9. The question is: How could they not inspire each other?
"Because we’ve built our whole lives around health, we motivate each other to stay active, eat well, and take good care of ourselves," Melissa says. "When Dallas tries a new sport, it makes me want to try something new and fun. If I’m focusing on getting more sleep, he finds it easier to go to bed earlier, too."
Of course, spending every waking moment turning each other into pictures of health would be too much, and they know that. "Dallas used to coach me in the gym every day, but once we got married, I decided I no longer wanted him telling me what to do," she says. "Now, we go to the gym together most mornings, but usually do our own thing."
(Photo: Melissa Hartwig)
Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp don't just sweat side by side, they created their own workout method as a couple and teach together frequently. During summer months in the Hamptons, they often tag team classes five days a week. But that doesn't mean they go home and collapse on the couch afterward.
"We love to do recreational sports together such as cross-country skiing, scuba diving, paddleboarding, kayaking—we have a two-man kayak—and walks on the beach," says Halfpapp.
And being an active couple helps their love and desire for each other stay strong, DeVito says. "Staying in top physical condition has kept us completely attracted to each other after 31 years of marriage." Sounds like a pretty nice perk.
"We don’t organize being healthy ‘into’ our lives, it's a natural component to our daily living," says Adam Kelinson. "Working in our organic garden together, collecting eggs in the morning from the chicken coop, sharing a smoothie together, and especially cooking are all part of our healthy habits."
Those habits lead to greater personal, and shared, happiness. "Feeling good individually is an important start, especially when that leads to Adam telling me, ‘You look marvelous!’ The day always gets better from there," says Jessica Bellofatto.
Plus, when they work out together, they've noticed a happy accident that really brings them together. "Once you’re done, you both need a shower at the same time!" Kelinson says.
(Photo: Jessica Bellofatto)
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