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5 Ways That Physical Fitness Increases Marital Fitness

by Carl Thomas on October 3rd, 2016 in Favorites, Couples, Spouses

xxxchurch-5-ways-that-physical-fitness-increases-marital-fitness-1I remember when XXXchurch posted a video on their Facebook page entitled “Can overweight people have great sex?” This was a video outtake from our video series Best Sex Life Now.

When we posted it, I thought nothing of it. In fact,
I think it’s a legitimate question.

However, within minutes of posting the comments started pouring in. And let’s just say most of them weren’t good. In fact, many were super-angry accusing the speakers in the video (Craig Gross and his wife Jeanette) of being superficial and poking fun at “fat people.”

This completely blew me away.

And let me be clear, one of the great things about this organization is that we all don’t have to agree on everything.

We understand the importance of talking about difficult topics and we realize that, in doing so, we will stir up conflicting opinions. In fact, there have been things we’ve posted before that I personally wouldn’t have posted.

BUT this video ain’t one of them.

Why? Because there is a lot of legitimacy in asking this question!

However, let’s clear something up:
Weight is not the issue.
Fitness is the issue.

And yes, I believe that better fitness will improve your sex life. 

And before you accuse me of “fat-shaming,” know this about me:

I’ve been super-skinny and in terrible shape.
I’ve been in single digit body fat % and been in great shape.
I’ve also been about 30lb over what I weigh now (which was considered obese) and in even worse shape.

And today I’m 43, I work out daily, am in very good shape, and I love it. I don’t even let up when I’m nursing an injury.


Because I realize now that, for me, a better fitness level equals a better lifestyle level.

So, I thought I would share with you five fitness benefits that will impact your marriage in a positive way. These aren’t for the purposes of shaming anyone who’s out of shape or overweight: these are just real benefits. Take ‘em or leave ‘em. Regardless, these are things I’ve seen in my own life; I can attest to their validity firsthand.

1. Better Sex – I thought I’d get this one out of the way first since many of you may already be pissed at me.

When I was 30 pounds overweight, I did not like the way I looked, but one thing I thought about a lot at that time was, “If I don’t like what I see, what does my wife think?

Now the truth is, my wife has always loved me for me and will continue to do so. She still swears that I was “sexy” to her back then, and I believe her now. But back then I saw what I saw, and that robbed me of my self-confidence. And self-confidence is very sexy (ask anyone); lack of self-confidence is not.

Better self-confidence equals better sex. Maybe your fitness level doesn’t matter to your spouse, but I assure you: if you get into better shape, you will feel better about yourself, and that will translate to a more confident bedroom performance.

2. Longevity – Straight up: poor fitness hurts your life span. Sure, people in great shape die all the time, but statistics don’t lie. The better shape you are in, the better chance you will live a longer life.

Why is this great for your marriage? Well, unless your marriage is terrible, hopefully your spouse is in no hurry to see you cash out (and most likely neither are your kids).

No one wants to sit around wondering if their partner is going to make it another five years because of their obesity problem. If you love your spouse, then give them some security. Give them the gift of a marriage that’s not marred by an untimely and early death.

x3-fighting-for-my-marriage-facebook-103. Performance – Hey, when you are in you 20s, you can usually hang with most physical activities (even if you aren’t in good shape). But once you hit your mid-30s, that all changes. All of sudden you are huffing and puffing from walking up a flight of stairs or from chasing your kids around the house… and that sucks.

Better fitness means you will be in a better place to take on the word’s challenges.

Want to take a long walk with your spouse without needing an oxygen tank at the end of it?
Want to climb a scenic trail on vacation without needing an elevator for the trip down?
Want to be able to wrestle your kids without feeling like your chest is about to explode?

Get in better shape and open up a world of possibilities that you couldn’t fully enjoy when you weren’t.

4. Discipline – One thing fitness requires is discipline.

You need to be disciplined enough to say no to that second Krispy Kreme donut.
You need to be disciplined to drag yourself to the gym when it’s cold out and you’d rather stay in bed.
You need to be disciplined to push yourself on workouts so you can reach new fitness levels.

Fitness breeds discipline, and that discipline WILL spill over into other areas of your life.

Trust me, no one enjoys a spouse that lacks discipline. You already had a mother and a father. Your partner doesn’t want that responsibility.

Lack of discipline is a marriage stressor, whether it is how you parent, how you budget, or how you eat. Better fitness instills a better sense of discipline, and that will appeal to your spouse.

5. Reduced Stress – One thing that we can agree on is that marriage brings stress. Add kids into the picture and holy crap… talk about a lot of stress.

Stress is linked to (not necessarily the cause of) almost every ailment or disease you can think of, whether it be cancer, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, cholesterol, and so on. Stress is BAD. Period.

Being in shape (i.e. exercising) greatly reduces stress levels. In fact, exercise releases “feel good” endorphins, has been referred to as meditation in motion, improves your mood, disrupts anxiety, and improves sleep. All of these things help reduce stress.

Who doesn’t want less stress?
What marriage can’t benefit from reduced stress?

Get in better shape and you will lower stress—and improve your marriage quality at the same time.

Bottom line is this. Being in shape will improve your life. And yes, that will have, at minimum, a trickle-down effect on your marriage and your sex life.

No one is saying if you aren’t in shape then you are no good.
No one is “fat bashing.”
No one is saying you can’t have a great marriage and a great sex life if you are out of shape.

But, fitness will improve these things even more… sometimes dramatically.





  • unique

    Was this really necessary? It will urt many people…

    • better12than6

      Yeah, we don’t want to urt anyone. 🙂

  • Mudangel

    I understand what the article is saying but please understand that many people who read this have been blamed, insulted and abused by their spouses over weight issues. A wife’s weight has nothing to do with great sex if the mans heart is in the right place, and vice versa. Some could read this and say “See, your weight is why my sex life isn’t good enough” and that simply isn’t true and is blaming the other person rather than seeing the greed and pride behind those thoughts. God created all of us for love and sex, not just the thin, muscular people 😉

    • I think you are missing the overall point here. This post says that being in shape will improve things in your marriage … that’s all. Yes, true love looks past the physical but fitness is more than just about looks … it’s about a lifestyle that promotes healthy living both physically and emptionally.

      • Mudangel

        I totally agree with that, it just seems that some people at this website don’t understand why these things strike a nerve with people, especially women. I want my spouse in shape for many reasons and I workout as well and see the benefit in it. Just keep in mind the abuse that has been done to many, many women who visit this site. I think it was handled pretty well, but acknowledging the shallowness and vanity that can go along with fitness would have helped many understand it better.

  • adamgagne

    I think this is a great article and a great topic that needs to be discussed more often. I’m sure people were up in arms when X3 first started talking about sex, porn, and masturbation, but the topic needed to be addressed! When we discuss taboo issues, we will receive a backlash….But please don’t get discouraged X3 authors, I think this topic of fitness/obesity needs to be discussed.
    Most of the world already looks at the Western world and shakes their heads at our problem with obesity because it also speaks of our indulgence and gluttony. Shifting our mindsets towards health and fitness helps us to address issues such as harmful chemicals in our foods, the fast food industry, processed foods, etc.

    And then the other positive side effects of being fit with a family and a spouse, like what is outlined in your article, should be enough to at least help us want to make some sort of change.

    The Christian life is about dying to self. We need to always be striving to be better people so that we can be a more efficient tool for God to use. Striving for fitness does not discount mental health, spiritual health, etc…, it’s just one of the many good things we should strive for.

    I don’t feel like I’m being attacked when i read an article that challenges me to read my Bible every day and meditate on God, so don’t feel like you’re being attacked when someone challenges you to live a more fit lifestyle….it’s good for us to be challenged!

  • elizabeth

    To be honest, this whole situation has been handled with a lack of sensitivity. For women who have been hurt by people calling them fat, it doesn’t matter how you say it or how you broach it. What we hear is – you are fat and you should feel bad and here’s why. We’re not stupid. we understand the health and logic, but it just reinforces the idea that we are not good enough because we are fat when we get lectures. Until we can love ourselves and feel like we are loved no matter what we look like, we aren’t going to hear your good intentions. I’d rather see an article on body-positivity or ways for overweight people to enjoy sex more, and allow people to feel like they are good enough. When you feel like you are good enough, then you can make changes. I’ve lost 100 lbs- and it wasn’t motivatated by an article with a superior (if unintentional) tone.

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