Staying in Step

How walking with your spouse can keep you connected

"Would you like to go for a walk?"

That question, posed to me more than 30 years ago on a small college campus in Saskatchewan, began a relationship—and routine—that continue today. I hate to exercise, but I love to walk with my husband, Tim. Walking has become a free, easy way to care for our health.

And walking has also taken us to some amazing places. While serving as missionaries in Ecuador, we traversed jungle trails, climbed volcanic mountains, and strolled along tropical beaches. Now back in Canada, we love meandering through our neighborhood and hiking beside the sea.

But beyond expanding our horizons and pumping up our heart rate, walking with my husband has improved our communication and livened up our marriage. Here's how to walk your way to …


As most couples do, Tim and I spend much of the day apart. So after dinner, we head out for a half hour of walking to reconnect. We've made this habit a priority over the years because we've seen numerous benefits in spending time together away from our house. We forget about the computer, television, and unending household chores, and simply concentrate on each other. Conversation comes naturally. We chat about our children, our jobs, or our recent reading. And we share our concerns so we can pray for each other with more focus.

When we're upset and don't feel like connecting, a walk outside provides a neutral ground. Not long ago, I was peeved by Tim's unwillingness to replace our dilapidated sofa. As we set out on our walk—in silence—my bottled-up feelings simmered to a boil. But walking released my tension, and finally my words gushed out. In response, Tim told me he'd felt manipulated by my demands. We agreed to discuss the matter later; and although we don't yet have new furniture, we've begun to shop. Walking with someone and staying angry with him are difficult. I know—because I've tried.

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May 25

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