5 fitness activities for you and your partner

Published 4:18 pm Sunday, April 28, 2013

Much of Weston and Susie Hulst’s relationship has revolved around fitness. Though the Albert Lea couple met through mutual friends, when they first began dating they trained for a sprint triathlon.

“That was probably the first thing that attracted me to him,” Susie said.

That summer they completed two or three triathlons, and since then they have enjoyed other types of fitness activities together, including swimming, biking and running.

Susie and Weston Hulst

Susie and Weston Hulst

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“Fitness has always been important to us,” Susie said.

Weston, the wellness director at Thorne Crest Retirement Community, and Susie, the sports fitness director at the Albert Lea Family Y, have now been married for 2 1/2 years and have a young child. Though their lives are different now than they were when they were dating, they still take time to make fitness a priority. They offer these five fitness activities to do with your significant other:

1. Train for and complete a fitness event together. Whether it’s a 5K, a half marathon, a marathon or a triathlon, work to achieve a common goal. When you are struggling or having a bad day, your other half can be there to encourage and push you to keep going. “It’s easier to have a partner,” Weston said. “You’re so much more accountable.” In the Albert Lea area, there is the Tiger Trot, the Fountain Lake 5, the April Sorensen Memorial Half Marathon and the Land Between the Lakes Triathalon.

2. Take advantage of local outdoor resources. Albert Lea has an abundance of fitness opportunities available.

The Brookside Boathouse along Fountain Lake offers rentals of everything from canoes and kayaks to stand-up paddleboards and geocaches. Consider renting one and venturing out onto Fountain Lake to try them out, Susie said. Or you can pack up bookbags with water and snacks and go hiking at Myre-Big Island State Park.

3. Go for a bike ride. Use the bike trails in the Albert Lea area or venture out to see something new in another community. Grab your bikes and start at the Blazing Star Trail. The paved trail runs from Albert Lea Lake to Myre-Big Island State Park, where work will soon be under way to connect it to Hayward. When completed, it will be about 20 miles. There are also seven miles of mountain biking available at the state park.

4. Lift weights together. Though you’ll more than likely be lifting different weights, push each other to work your hardest. Join a local gym or work from home. It’s not a bad idea to have an extra person on hand for safety purposes, either, when you’re on weight-lifting machines.

5. Play with the kids together. Plug in your iPhone or put in a CD and have a dance party with your children.

“What better way to set an example for your children than to be active,” Susie said.

You’ll make lasting memories and burn a few calories, too.