For my boyfriend and I, our idea of quality time used to be Netflix and chill.
We were utter couch potatoes. We still are some of the time. However, to be somewhat less potato-y and lose a few pounds, we decided to incorporate daily walks into our routine.
At first, we were drawn towards daily walks for purely physical benefits. There are a ton of health benefits that walking regularly provides. To name a few:
- increased heart and lung fitness
- increased muscle strength
- reduced body fat
- more energy
The only reason we decided to walk together (aside from the fact that misery loves company) was to hold each other accountable.
What we didn’t know was that walking together would rejuvenate our relationship.
I’d go as far as to say all of our power walking has turned us into a power couple. Here’s how…
Walking together bonded us through small discoveries.
We decided that when we weren’t out of breath, we could at least talk to each other. So, our phones remained silent, in pockets instead of hands.
Our attention was entirely on each other and our surroundings. We would point out things we never noticed before (garden gnomes, some wild mushrooms, or a robin in the trees). We savored those discoveries together.
Our walks soon built a bond based on exploration and discovery. Now, we start our walks excited for the new things we’ll see along the way. Afterward, we happily chat about our discoveries.
Furthermore, nature is oddly therapeutic. Social media and the news are always trying to stimulate your senses and emotions. That’s how they get you to engage, right? But nature doesn’t do that. Nature just exists, offering a calming escape…that you can enjoy with your partner and bond over.
Walking together made us into a team.
Okay, not right away, admittedly. The first few walks were hard. But each day, it got easier, and we started walking further.
When one of us slowed down or wanted to skip it, the other was there to encourage them to push through and stick to the plan.
Soon, we felt better thanks to a sense of accomplishment. We were able to use an app to track our progress, including our pace and distance. It was neat to see how we progressed together.
We went from walking zero miles a week to over twelve miles each week. That’s a huge accomplishment!
It kindled a sense of teamwork to be able to high-five each other and be proud of our stats.
When you view your relationship as a team, you’re more likely to bring that team mentality to issues that can come up from day-to-day and any relationship grievances. Problem-solving became a breeze!
Walking together improved our intimacy.
After a few weeks, I noticed I had more stamina both in and out of the bedroom.
Sex is still a workout, but we both noticed an increased endurance. Plus, after some time of consistently walking, we both lost a few pounds.
I’ve been over my “ideal weight” for a while, so losing those pounds made me feel better in my skin. That increased confidence led to a better sexual experience. Which led to another increase of confidence. Which led to more sex. And so it goes: a positive feedback loop. We felt closer, more confident, and more desired as a result.
Walking together is like a poor man’s relationship counseling.
It gave us a chance for some distraction-free communication. People rarely actively listen when others talk, sadly. However, walking minimized distractions (not that they weren’t possible).
Instead of being glued to my screen, captivated by Facebook or Twitter, I allowed myself to reconnect with my environment. The usual distraction was hidden away, and it let me engage with what’s truly important and real: relationships, the world around us, and love.
Research shows that a lack of communication hurts relationships. So, more communication means a healthier relationship!
Walking together “legitimized” our relationship.
Maybe it’s just me, but I love to show off my lover. On our walks, we’d often come across neighbors. Sometimes, we’d stop to chat and laugh and gossip.
We presented ourselves as a uniformed front when we socialized with other people as a couple. That “us” mentality also helped solidify our teamwork mentality. Strong relationships know that a united effort can be superior to individual effort.
Yeah, we’re still both individuals, and we have our own friends, and we do our own thing.
But there’s a beautiful facet of our relationship in which we’re joined together as an “us,” and something as simple as socializing with others together helped remind us of that.
When we started our daily walks together, I wanted to lose ten pounds. Plain and simple. Weight loss was my only goal.
I lost those ten pounds! But I’ve gained so much more in the form of a solid, thriving relationship. Our walks have given me many unanticipated gifts and insights.
If you’re looking to strengthen your relationship, I suggest a daily walk with your lover. Not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll likely…
- bond over the joys of discovery
- accomplish your goals as a team
- obtain better intimacy
- communicate more
- face the world as a united front
Don’t let me fool you. We still Netflix and chill, but only after we spend some time enhancing our relationship through walking together.