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 10 Simple Tips for Healthy Relationships 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by . View all columns in series

3. EXERCISE together. Be good examples for one another and encourage each other to get and stay in shape. Take walks and go on hikes or a bike ride; try a yoga class together. Stretch out your body and stay flexible and youthful. Go to the gym together and push around those weights, and do some aerobic activity for heart strength and for building your endurance. Open those hips and strengthen those lips, or is it open those lips and strengthen those hips? Go dancing moon or shine. This healing program is relaxing and revitalizing, as well as providing a rush of those feel good brain endorphins. And then go back home and make a nice meal, or have a picnic outdoors or at home. It really helps when both partners in a relationship know how to prepare food, shop, and nourish one another. (Doing the kitchen and cooking thing by oneself is often a challenge.) Also, gardening and creating your food can be a shared experience. In other words, be active and play together, two hearts beating as one.

4. Enjoy Beautiful Foods together—fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Spring greens are also wonderful; put some of these in your mixed lettuce salad. Also, try some sensual foods and eating experiences, such as an artichoke with a dip of olive oil, lemon, and crushed garlic. Other spring veggies are leafy greens, like chard or kale, so healthy for us, as well as green peas, radishes, and celery. Fresh salads are tasty and very nourishing. Spring fruits include oranges and lemons, strawberries (organic please), and dates, plus avocado. Make an energizing smoothie. Look through healthy cookbooks to get ideas for new meals that you can create together, such as in my book, A Cookbook for All Seasons. The process of preparing food is sacred and vital to our health and life. Transform it from a chore to a precious event.

5. Relationships, the people you choose to be close with, reflect your inner self, your deeper psyche. Ultimately, we need energy (and blood, of course) to flow from our heart. However, sometimes this energy is blocked, both by our thoughts and fears and by influences of the world around us. Keeping the heart energy open and flowing takes a constant embracing of who we are and meeting our challenges. Destiny may also play a dominant role in love and taps our heart to open and embrace a certain someone even though that relationship may be difficult. All of us have an opportunity to learn, or re-learn, to listen and nurture, particularly those us caught up in patterns of denial. I say to men in particular, listen to, and open and embrace the messages of your partner. Their advice will often help you grow. It might begin with learning to make good foods for you and others, watching less TV, going outdoors, or exploring new friendships. It may involve gaining knowledge about herbs and making healing teas for one another. Do a foot or back rub and use some of the many special oil products available at your local stores. Ultimately, these new experiences might mean a change in how you view yourself and your place in this world, which will lead to a change in how you view others. This can then transform your experience of life.

6. Learn from your mistakes. That’s why growth and experience is so helpful, as is breaking through individual boundaries. We can learn from other’s mistakes. Otherwise, if we stop or run away too early, we may continue with the same patterns, reach the same block with a new person, and have another opportunity to learn how and why we got there. That’s why I tell people when they end a relationship, "it’s a valuable time to work on yourself. If you evolve and learn what failed, you have the new potential to attract someone with whom you can go to the next level toward enlightened love and relationship."

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 Comments Add your comment 
Flopsey wrote
   8/16/2012 9:58:00 AM    (report abuse)
My ideal relationship involves supporting each other in our decisions,trust,and enjoying the changes in our life as we age.
 About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...moreElson Haas MD
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