Wish your partner exercised more? Improving your fitness can help your partner improve theirs. Double win!
In Australia, only 43 per cent of adults are reaching the
physical activity recommendations for good health while a scary 20
per cent do no physical activity at all. We all know we should move
more but finding the motivation can be a challenge. Fortunately,
new research is shows that our loved ones may be key to motivating
us to get off the couch.
New research from the United States has found that when one partner
improves their physical activity, the other is significantly more
likely to do the same. The American study interviewed more than
3,200 couples about their physical activity levels over a period of
six years. Of the couples interviewed, results showed that when a
wife met recommended levels of physical activity, her husband was
70 per cent more likely to also meet the recommendations. When a
husband met recommended physical activity levels, his wife was 40
per cent more likely to follow suit.
"The best motivation to get moving could be coming from the
person sitting across from you at the dinner table," says Diabetes
Queensland's accredited exercise physiologist Kathryn Kirchner. "We
all know how important physical activity is to stay healthy and
prevent chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and this study
shows that our partners play a vital role in our health. Not only
do you hold the key to your health, you can also have a positive
effect on your loved ones."
The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend adults do at
least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five days a week.
Doing any physical activity is better than none so if you are
currently inactive, start small and build up gradually.
Kathryn encourages couples to get out together and get their
"Being active with your partner should be fun so try to think
outside the square and try new activities that will challenge you
both," she says.
Remember to talk to your GP or an exercise physiologist before
starting a new exercise regime.
A few ideas to get your body moving are:
- Play a game for two such as squash, lawn balls, dancing or
- Try a two person team sport like tennis doubles
- Take a relaxing walk, bike ride or kayak together
- Join a gym or try a group fitness class or personal training