Walking with your spouse

Good morning! Dr. Glen here with another instalment of Family Matters, where I share health tips that you can incorporate into your daily routine. These tips aim to keep you and your family healthy and well throughout the year. This January, we’ve been exploring different activities that can ensure you’re getting enough physical activity and the right kind of movement to keep your family well.

After discussing yoga and high-intensity training, this week we’re focusing on something simpler, yet equally important – walking. Walking is a low-impact exercise that everyone can do, making it one of the easiest activities to schedule into your day. It’s even better if you can do it with your spouse or partner!

The Benefits of Walking

Beyond the obvious cardio benefits, walking has a host of secondary benefits that you might not be aware of:

  1. Improved digestion: Walking can increase absorption in your gut, leading to a more efficient metabolism.
  2. Hydration: Walking can increase your body’s desire for water, contributing to better hydration and more efficient detoxification.
  3. Improved circulation: Walking can enhance circulation, not just of blood, but also of lymph and cerebrospinal fluid. The latter washes and keeps your brain and spinal cord healthy, highlighting the importance of regular walks.

The benefits multiply if you can walk hand-in-hand with your loved one. This simple act can decrease pain levels, increase bonding, and reduce overall stress levels. And if you can take these walks in nature, the benefits are amplified even further.

Motivating Your Partner to Walk

Now, how do we motivate our partners to join us on these walks? Remember, we’re all motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by the challenge, others by the health benefits, and some by the chance to perform better in a specific sport. Find what motivates your partner and talk to them about the benefits of walking.

Ask for Help

Start by asking your partner for help. You could say, “I really want to commit to walking regularly. Dr. Glen says it’s something we should be doing a few times a week. Would you be my walking partner? Let’s commit to this throughout the year.” By framing it as a request for assistance, you’re giving your partner a chance to support you in your health goals.

Give Them Ownership

The second key is to ensure your partner takes ownership of this new routine. Instead of dictating the specifics like, “We’re going to walk for 45 minutes first thing in the morning,” give them the freedom to make some decisions. They could choose the time of day or the route you take. By letting them take part in the decision-making process, they’ll feel more involved and committed.

Highlight the Benefits

Lastly, make sure the benefits are clear. Speak to your partner about the improvements you’ve noticed in your own health and energy levels since you started walking regularly. Compliment them on the changes you see in them too. Recognizing these positive changes can be a powerful motivator to stick with the routine.

So, lace up those shoes and step out for a walk today. Your body – and your family – will thank you!