These husband and wife duos demonstrate how exercising together builds both their bond and bodies up.
KATY MAGAZINE |October 2017 Gail Collins
Photography by Reinaldo Medina
Working out as a couple offers time together, accountability, and ultimately success for these dynamic duos. Four couples share their motivation and advice on how to get fit and stay fit, despite demanding careers, kids’ activities and life’s obstacles. They have found fitness maintains the best quality of life.
Jeremy and Clarissa Browning
Ages: Jeremy, 40; Clarissa, 35
Children: Boston, 1
In 2015, when Jeremy and Clarissa Browning took a hard look at themselves, they saw the exact opposite of everything they used to be. Jeremy had played college baseball and coached, while Clarissa was once a ballet dancer. “We were lethargic, restless, and fueling our bodies poorly, which affected our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional selves,” says Jeremy. The couple vowed to become their best and healthiest selves.
“We both feel it is a sign of gratefulness and self-respect to eat clean and workout consistently.” - Clarissa Browning
That commitment led them to investment in six Iron Tribe Fitness franchises, stressing proper nutrition and intelligent fitness for sustainable change. High intensity interval training provides them with a safe, fast-paced, varied workout. While coaching others, Jeremy lost 43 pounds, and Clarissa regained her strength with optimal body fat composition, even after pregnancy. They find inspiration in wanting to share a long life with their son, Boston. “We both feel it is a sign of gratefulness and self-respect to eat clean and workout consistently,” says Clarissa.
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A Healthier and Happier Couple
Matt and Meagan Clanahan
Children: Ryan and Quinn, 7
Consumed with life after the birth of her twins, Meagan stopped exercising. Despite having been a collegiate athlete, she panted her way up the stairs. When the children headed to kindergarten, she found a nearby gym and no more excuses. Matt had consistently worked out at home, but they joined as a family pledge. Now, they crave the workouts, scheduling partner sessions as friendly competition when possible. “It’s one hour we can have that’s just for us,” says Matt, and it fuels other areas of their busy lives.
“It’s one hour we can have that’s just for us.” - Matt Clanahan
The couple has gained lean muscle mass and improved their eating habits, yet finds balance - no Cheetos, but a nice glass of wine. Accountability is vital and goal-setting, like finishing a quarter-marathon for Meagan and more energy for Matt’s demanding job, drives them. “We are a healthier couple, but also a happier couple,” she says.
Staying Healthy for Their Children
David and Kristen Hewitt
Ages: David, 42; Kristen, 41
Children: Olivia, 9; Garrett, 7
Favorite workout move: David - box step-ups, planks; Kristen - deadlift, kettle bell swings
David and Kristen Hewitt lost their fathers when the men were in their 50’s. The couple needed to stay healthy for their children, so they joined a gym. Classes with cardio and strength components that change and challenge them, while emphasizing form and mechanics, are their favorite. These include modifications for Dave - who lost his leg below the knee in a motorcycle accident followed by knee and hip surgery - to expand his mobility and technique. This improved Dave’s gait with a prosthetic limb and lessened his medications. In the past seven months, he lost 25 pounds, and Kristen traded in 20 pounds for a leaner body and ramped up muscle. Big changes in food and family activity accompanied their fitness regime. “Eighty percent of it is diet; make small changes that stick,” says David. Kristen adds, “We have more energy, we are sleeping better, and just feel better overall.” Accountability and togetherness assured their success.
“Eighty percent of it is diet; make small changes that stick.” - Dave Hewitt
Building Friendships and a Healthy Lifestyle
Chad and Brittani Morales
Children: Kipton, 1
Chad and Brittani Morales are fitness coaches and compete in Crossfit competitions, but they face the same obstacles to a healthy lifestyle as everyone else. “You can’t out-work a bad diet,” says Brittani. “To see results, you have to make some sacrifices, have a plan, and stick with it.” Weekly, she organizes meals ahead to avoid inevitable time-crunches.
“To see results, you have to make some sacrifices, have a plan, and stick with it.” - Brittani Morales
Working out has been part of their relationship from the get-go, building more togetherness. They enjoy partner or team workouts and chippers, which link several series of timed movements. “We both have the same goal to be healthy, but working out as a couple also allows us to motivate and push each other,” says Chad. Through their Crossfit competitions, they have created lasting friendships in the community, too. As coaches, they have applauded the inspiring and difficult journeys people have made to regain health. Overall, fitness maintains the best quality of life.
GAIL G. COLLINS writes for magazines, has authored three books on life abroad and believes meeting people is the best way to understand the world.