The Benefits of Exercising as a Couple: Improving Bodies & Relationships

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The Benefits of Exercising as a Couple: Improving Bodies & Relationships

Relationships have the unique property of occupying a lot of our time. And, while some of that time is put to good use, a good chunk of it is just chilling out with your partner and doing all sorts of laid-back things around the house. We’re definitely not saying that’s bad. In fact, it’s one of the coolest things couples get to do. But, when that phase is over, replacing it with something a little bit more constructive is a great idea. And working out together is definitely on top of the list. Think of it this way — you’re spending quality time together and you’re toning your abs.

 

Happier than the rest

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In fact, studies show that working out with a partner you feel comfortable around gives you the edge over other gym-goers. You feel happier and more energetic because you face the challenge as a team, through positive reinforcement. By doing everything together, you become more conscious of your own movements, more focus goes into each exercise. On the other hand, when you’re both doing different workouts at the same time, there is a level of complementarity involved — while one rests, the other focuses on the exercise, while one of you is on the treadmill, the other one can work on their strenght and then switch.

 

Open to new things

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You might be a yoga fan, while she might be the cardio queen. But together you’re much more than that. You can learn so many things from your partner. Maybe you’ve been ignoring the warm-up session because you think it’s boring or maybe she hates stretching, so she just goes for the dumbells. When you work out together, you’ll be able to break the pattern and keep each other in touch with what’s really important. You might even find out a bunch of new stuff and incorporate it in your long-term training program.

 

In tune with each other

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Working out with a partner is an entirely different act than solo training. When you’re alone, nobody can tell you that you’re doing something wrong or right. You just have to rely on your experience and intuition. Your partner, on the other hand, is an observer and a helper, and so are you. It’s much easier to notice when somebody’s doing dog pose right from the outside. And it’s impossible to give someone positive feedback when they’re not around. So go ahead and tell your partner that they’re doing great or, if this is the case, that they need to switch it up. This is precious feedback and it’s also a good way to re-discover yourselves and find a new way of communicating.

 

More enthusiastic about your partner

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Sometimes, working out is all about the competition. When your competition is your lover, things tend to get hot. Training together can, indeed, be a new type of foreplay and it can rekindle the passion you have for each other. As you change your predictable roles, so the dynamic of your relationship changes and creates positive conflict that increases libido. Sherry Amatenstein, author of The Complete Marriage Counselor: Relationship-saving Advice from America’s Top 50+ Couples Therapists, says that “The couple that sweats together stays together!” Reason enough to ask your partner to join you in the gym? We definitely think so.

 

Focused and determined

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Men and women in relationships often feel more grounded and start focusing on the important stuff together, as a team. “The love of my life and ultra runner, Brian Gutierrez, trained me for my first marathon in October 2012. He kept me motivated and in high spirits when I felt like walking — and cursing the gods at moments! We ran it together on my birthday and grew closer every step of the way!” says Haleyrae and we couldn’t agree more. There’s something really special about a couple motivating and supporting each other through workout and it often makes you stick to a long-term training plan.

 

So go out there and don’t be afraid to sweat together. It’s a brand new level of intimacy that will come with all the benefits: better bodies, better minds and a better relationship.

 

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