An ideal workout partner has several requisite qualities: He or she is someone you enjoy being around, a person who can accept and issue a challenge and understands your strengths and weaknesses. Sounds oddly like your significant other, doesn't it? In fact, a healthy relationship and a healthy body have many similarities, so you might as well get your heart pounding with the person your heart aches for.
The benefits of exercise are well-documented but have you thought about how exercise can enhance your love life? It's a proven fact that exercise improves your mood and helps fight a variety of chronic diseases [source: Mayo Clinic]. Hey, you want to be together as long as possible, right? Plus, after a good workout you'll feel more energized, sleep better and look good for each other.
Not yet convinced? Well, we're not finished. Read on to discover more reasons to exercise as a couple.
5: Friendly Competition Can Re-kindle a Fire
Working out, like a relationship, can become monotonous if you allow it to be. Go through the the same reps of the same exercises and endlessly repeat the same routines and, naturally, your level of interest and excitement will decline. Why not make things interesting with a little friendly competition? You might just find that the internal fire you create during exercise carries over to your personal life [source: Fisher].
The next time you're on a jog with your honey, try finishing with a sprint. If one of you is faster than the other, then allow the slower runner to get a head start. There's nothing like the thrill of the chase. Or see who can finish 10 reps of an exercise first. Make sure to keep it light and fun, but the little bit of extra drive will not only encourage you both to try harder -- it'll liven up your interactions. Speaking of interactions, you can place a wager on the outcome of your competition. The reward could be foot rubs or control of the television remote.
4: To Share Your Passion
There's passion for a person and there's passion for a sport. You're probably familiar with couples whose passions didn't mesh. He loved her and she loved golf. She was interested in him, but he was interested in basketball. But one passion doesn't have to extinguish the other.
It may take a little work and compromise on both sides, but if you can introduce your significant other to your sport or exercise of choice, you may discover your relationship becomes closer. What starts out as support ends up benefiting both of you in terms of physical health and couple bonding [source: Jayson].
3: You Get 'er Done
We've all noticed it. The local gym is packed in January and quiet by March. It's no secret; one of the hardest parts about working out is sticking with it for the long term. The tiniest of things get in the way and pretty soon three weeks have passed since you've exercised. That's what your sweetie can help prevent.
Having your significant other on the same workout schedule can act as a great motivator to get out of bed in the morning. If you're sluggish, she can give you a friendly nudge. If she pushes the snooze button, you can hold her accountable. Love hurts. That two-person support network can be vital to keeping an exercise regimen going, especially if the person you're burning calories with is your loved one. [source: Ellis]. We call that a win-win.
2: Familiarity Breeds Fitness
It's hard enough to transition from a sedentary life to a life of fitness without going it alone, or worse, making small-talk with someone you barely know. It's often awkward and uncomfortable to begin a workout program with a colleague or neighbor. But, if your workout partner is someone who has already vowed to stay with you through thick and thin, you're more likely to stick with the plan. You already know your sweetheart's style, how far they can push themselves and how far they'll allow themselves to be pushed by you. In addition, they know the same about you. How important is that? Married couples who work out together are almost seven times more likely to stick with a fitness program than couples who don't [source: Keefe].
1: Improved Relationship Health
Challenges, when endured side-by-side, strengthen relationships. Goals achieved together create great memories -- memories that can be called upon for strength when the going gets tough again. Exercise is a challenge you can face together as you move toward an agreed-upon finish line or target. That link will serve to strengthen not only your muscles, but your ties with your partner [source: Ellis].
Working out together in the morning can set the tone for the whole day. Exercising in the evening can help relax and invigorate you after a long day at work. Either way, it insures that you get some quality time together. And keep this in mind, the bonds formed between you and your partner will last much longer than your time in the gym.
For lots more information about couples and exercise, visit the next page.
Lots More Information
- Ellis, Katie M. Standard-Examiner. "Romance on the run: Couples find being healthy together' keeps the spark alive."February 8, 2011. (Mar. 11, 2011).http://www.standard.net/topics/features/2011/02/08/romance-run-couples-find-being-healthy-together-keeps-spark-alive
- Fisher PhD, Maryanne. Psychology Today. "Exercise for Better Sex." February 17, 2011. (Mar. 11, 2011).http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/loves-evolver/201102/exercise-better-sex
- Jayson, Sharon. USA Today. "Married couples who play together stay together." July 6, 2008. (Mar. 11, 2011)http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-07-15-fun-in-marriage_N.htm
- Keefe, Catherine. Chicago Tribune. "Togetherness Helps Couples with Exercise."February 11, 1996. (Mar. 11, 2011)http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-02-11/features/9602110439_1_jogging-or-weight-lifting-physical-fitness-couples
- Mayo Clinic. "Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity." 2011. (Mar. 6, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676