Before the pandemic hit, there was no arguing that it was a challenge for busy couples to find meaningful time in their days to be together. Juggling work, the kids and life’s ups and downs really is a lot to handle. Date nights become few and far between, and if you’re not already “that couple” who loves to workout, you almost never made it to the gym or made time to sneak in some cardio together.
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Well, now that you have a little more time at home together, why not find your shared fitness groove? What can you do together that promotes a healthier longer life together? Married actors and fitness enthusiasts Michael Jai White and Gillian White have mastered loving and living their healthiest lives together. Today the couple joined the first-ever virtual edition of our 2020 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture’s Wellness House lineup to talk with ESSENCE Relationships and Wellness Director Charli Penn about how to find out which fitness or wellness activity works for you both and why it matters.
Michael has been a black belt since age 12, and when he and Gillian got together, he shared his love for martial arts with her, now she’s on his level and they enjoy doing it together. How can you and your boo find your fitness “thing”? Start by not attaching negative thoughts to it, say the Whites.
“I would encourage people to not think of it as a chore or just some kind of like, uh, it takes so much discipline,” Michael insists. “It is a right. Working out is a right. One day we can’t do that. We’re going to be too old to do that stuff. And we’re young enough to do it right now. And get accompanied with that feeling off completion. You know how good you feel after you’ve worked out? It’s a purge. it’s a purge. It’s a release. Get used to that feeling and it will take care of itself…. It’s like I want to do it…it will feel weird if we didn’t work out.”
“And I think the best thing for couples is to, you know, talk to each other,” Gillian says. “Figure out what is something you have in common. Maybe you guys would like to run, or jog, or dance. Anything that gets the blood moving and gets you some cardio in. Find out what it is you have in common and close in on that.”
“Believe me,” adds Michael. “It makes the relationship better.”
We agree. Healthy couples get more years of happiness together and, experts say, argue less. (Hello endorphins!) Get into the clip above and play back the full interview on ESSENCE Studios now.