An old expression advises – the couple that plays together, stays together. While the advice doesn’t mean play puts the potential for breakup outside the realm of possibility there is at least some truth in those words. Spending time together in fun activities strengthens the bonds of relationship. Couples that take time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to connect through mutually enjoyable activities report more satisfaction in their relationships overall. If one of those activities happens to involve exercise, that’s even better. Not only will you build bonds, you will also build muscle and your fitness level, too. That’s pretty sexy. You probably don’t need more motivation than that to work out as a couple, but just in case you do, read on for other benefits.
Working out as a couple is a good way to stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals. Chances are at least one of you will always be up for what is sometimes the hardest exercise of all, getting off the couch. When you make a commitment to fitness as a couple you can take turns getting each other on your feet and out the door.
Diet and exercise are an unbeatable combination for better health. When you work out as a couple you are more likely to share fitness as well as nutrition goals. That means you are less likely to sabotage your exercise efforts with high calorie, high fat meals. Plan together for meals that taste good and help you achieve your joint fitness goals.
Many topics of conversations among couples (money, kids, chores) often feel stressful and threatening. Another benefit of working out as a couple is the opportunity it provides to discuss and decide on fitness goals. What’s to argue with about a healthier partner or spouse? Nothing; living better and longer is something everyone can agree on.
Working out boosts your mood and improves your ability to manage stress. That may mean fewer arguments and less irritability. In other words, working out makes you feel more pleasant and more pleasant to be with. For couples that adds up to more shared smiles and ultimately more happiness together.
Exercise does not have to mean pain and drudgery. Any kind of vigorous movement counts if it gets your heart pumping a little faster for at least 30 minutes. Go dancing; try yoga, run, garden, or go to the gym together. The key is to get moving in any way that feels good.
A few words of warning
Watch out for pitfalls, which can outweigh the benefits of working out together. Remember fitness is fun and when you add your special friend a good thing should just get better.
We all thrive on a little friendly competition, but sometimes it can go too far. Beware of unhealthy competition when working out as a couple. If you find that you are more concerned with “losing” or “looking bad” it might be time to revisit your fitness goals and discuss the kind of feedback that would be most helpful. If too much competition continues to be a problem, consider solo workouts and seek out another opportunity for sharing an activity as a couple.
Different fitness levels
Even if there is a wide gap in fitness levels between you and your sweetie, you can still enjoy working out together. For example, when you run together you don’t have to run side by side for every mile or every time you hit the pavement. Instead, be creative. Maybe you can warm up and cool down together and tackle the middle miles on your own. Or if your partner logs more miles than you typically do, run together on his or her easy days.
Working out as a couple can increase your chances of reaching fitness goals. It’s also a great way to strengthen your relationship while having fun. Why not make a plan to get started? You may just find in your case that the couple that plays together really does stay together.