The weekly five: Health tips to help newlyweds stay fit

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Among the many unique challenges newlyweds face are battling obesity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which remain ever-growing problems for an increasingly unhealthy nation.

Kendall Tingey, a newlywed student at BYU, loves to exercise. Before getting married he and his fiancée participated in activities that challenged them physically. However, with the changes that married life brings, he feels it difficult to find time to dedicate to an active lifestyle.

“Keeping up with a workout routine can be hard,” Tingey said. “Sometimes instead of taking the evening to go to the gym you just want to stay at home with your wife, especially if you’re both busy during the day and don’t see each other.”

Xan Baker, a recently engaged 26-year-old from Salt Lake City, has fears about the challenges raising a healthy family will pose in a fast food society.

“Strokes run in my fiancé’s family,” Baker said. “His parents recently started eating almost 100 percent vegan. They’ve already seen significant drops in his father’s blood pressure and cholesterol, not to mention a nice 10-pound drop in weight. Living healthy is important to us.”

Understanding the challenges young couples face, Brian Hall, a personal trainer in Orem with Strive Training and Fitness, has five health and fitness tips he recommends to young couples to help them establish and maintain habits for a healthier life.

1. “Cook together,” Hall said. “There can be troubles nutritionally when only one person does the cooking in the home. Every person has their own unique health challenges and oddities, especially between men and women. Catering to those things can be difficult.”

2. “Exercise as much as you can together,” Hall said.  “Try to make it a habit you both enjoy doing together as opposed to regarding it as time you must spend apart. If you set up exercise time as time you’d rather spend with your spouse, it may just turn into time you resent, and that can cause deeper problems with exercise down the road.”

3. “Plan activities that require a certain amount of physical activity,” Hall said. “So instead of planning dates to watch a movie, play video games or catch up on TV, go hiking or even just take a walk. Whatever it is, make sure it breaks up the routine of just sitting around.”

4. “Set some health and fitness goals together,” Hall said. “These could range from nutrition to exercise or to having the same sleeping schedule. Having goals together will help you work toward a common objective and help bring you together as a couple and improve your overall fitness.”

5. “Once you start talking about having children, make a plan to have a healthy family, not just a healthy couple,” Hall said. “Kids make scheduling a lot more difficult, and with all the time issues, having a pre-made plan may be the best strategy you have to keeping you and and your whole family healthy.”

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