When you love someone, your feelings extend far beyond one day of the year. Now that the frills of Valentine’s Day have faded, how will you continue to show your love?

Roses and chocolate are always nice, but there are lots of meaningful ways to express how much you care about someone past February 14th! One practical way to show your love that’s often overlooked is by caring for your significant other’s health. When you encourage and support your partner to live a healthy life, it shows you want the best for them, and you want them around forever—what’s sweeter than that!

Turn over a new leaf this year with your S.O. by making health a priority! Two easy places to start when making health-conscious adjustments is your diet and activity levels. Keep reading for helpful tips and pointers on how to make a lifestyle change you can stick to!

Step Up Your Culinary Game

In 2020, many of us became experts on date nights at home. Besides the obvious advantages of saving money, staying safe, and no traffic or wait times, cooking at home is generally healthier than eating out. One of the easiest ways to improve your health, is to clean up your grocery list and therefore, your diet. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Try some of the recipes listed below on your at-home date nights and see if we can’t convince you to switch it up!

10 healthy recipes to cook together from Delish:

  1. Balsamic Basil Chicken
  2. Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon
  3. Tuscan Butter Roast Chicken
  4. Mussels with Tomatoes and Garlic
  5. Cauliflower Crust Pizza
  6. Lemon Garlic Shrimp
  7. Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups
  8. Seared Scallops
  9. Chicken Marbella
  10. Sheet Pan Balsamic Steak & Potatoes

Shape Up with Your S.O.

We all know that doing things with someone makes it more enjoyable, especially if you aren’t excited to do it in the first place. Moral support can have a huge impact on our ability to stick with something, and if that accountability is paired with quality time and a few laughs it’s even better!

There are plenty of exercises you can enjoy with a partner; hiking, biking, rowing, brisk walking, yoga and boxing are a few! You can also incorporate partner workouts for a more challenging and fun gym sesh.

Below are some fun partner workouts to try next time you want to break a sweat with your significant other. The reps and time spent on each exercise are customizable and up to you!

High-five pushups

Each partner sets up directly across from each other in push-up position. After you push up, reach with opposite arms to high five the other person. Alternate the hand you high-five with after each pushup you do.

Back-to-back “wall sits”

Match up back-to-back the best you can and lower down into a squad, using the other person as support, imitating a wall sit. Hold it as long as you can. This exercise works better for couples without major height differences but can still work with some adjustments!

Wheelbarrow shoulder taps

One partner gets into pushup position, and the other stands behind them. The partner behind lifts partner one’s ankles in their hands, raising their legs to hip level. Partner one brings their hand across to tap their opposite shoulder, leaving the other arm on the ground for support. Alternate arms and shoulders each time. When you’ve reached your desired number of alternating shoulder taps, partners switch.

Medicine ball passes

For core stability, stand side by side with your partner. Bend and lift both of your outside legs, leaving the legs closest to each other planted on the ground. Taking a weighted exercise ball, twist your torso, engaging the oblique muscles, and pass it off to your partner. Once the partner is holding the ball they will twist to the opposite side, towards the outside lifted leg, and then twist back to pass it to the partner. Repeat motions.

For more workouts you can do with a partner, click here!

Making it Last

Just like relationships, if you want this to last, you’ll have to work at it. It takes time and commitment to create healthier habits and not let your mindset become a phase.

Here are five tips for helping you and your partner navigate a healthier lifestyle, and making it stick!

1. Don’t force it.

This should be a fun thing to do together, don’t let it become a point of contention. Keep it light and try not to get stressed out by the details. If one partner is more determined or on their game, that’s okay! Encouragement is much more helpful than criticism, so always focus on showing your partner support.

2. Compromise is key.

Maybe you love running and your partner despises it. Or maybe they do well on low-carb diets, but you couldn’t think of anything worse. We aren’t all programmed the same, and just because you love them doesn’t mean that you guys will agree 100% of the time—even on simple health choices. The key is trying to find a middle ground so you both can enjoy taking this journey together, however that works best for both of you.

3. Celebrate the wins, big and small.

Along with seeing progress and benefits, rewarding yourself for your accomplishments is a powerful way to stay on track. Set short term and long-term goals with your partner. What are you hoping to get out of this? What things would you like to see change? It can be anything from being active outside together every day, to shedding X number of pounds. Whatever goals you set, come up with rewards you can work towards as well. Maybe a massage for all your dedicated gym work, or a camping trip to encourage more healthy quality time. The possibilities are endless!

4. Give yourselves grace.

There will be days where you fall off the wagon and that’s okay! Weekends can especially be hard, but a new week brings new chances to give it your all. If you and your partner notice yourself straying from your health goals, pick a day and make a pact to get back on track together. Punishing yourself or having unreachable expectations will only hinder your health journey. A couple bad days does not cancel out all the progress you’ve made and accepting that slip ups are going to happen will help you jump back in easier.

5. You two are a team, not competitors.

Sure, friendly competition is a good motivator, but keep in mind that you’re in this together. When one of you wins, you both win! Remember that your team is only as strong as it’s best player, so when both partners get stronger in mind, body, and spirit, the relationship does too!

A healthy relationship is not just about two people who share interests, but about two people who share the same priorities. In 2021, show your love by making a long, healthy, and happy life with your partner a priority!