Most people understand that exercise has a number of physical benefits, including better cardiovascular health and lower body fat. Exercise has other advantages that extend to emotional and psychological health as well. Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and stress when it creeps in. Exercise can even enhance a relationship. Exercising together with a spouse or partner gives you a shared activity that you can do together. Finding common activities that you both enjoy can improve a relationship and increase an emotional and physical connection.
General Benefits of Exercise
Exercising every day has a number of health benefits. You will increase your overall fitness level with daily exercise. This helps make you strong and helps to control weight. People who exercise every day may also avoid some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Physicians recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week at a moderate intensity level. In addition to this physical activity, adults should also engage in muscle-building activities on two or more days every week. Aerobic activity includes brisk walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, or bicycling. You could perform these activities alone, but it’s often more enjoyable to work out with a companion.
Exercise Benefits for Couples
A beneficial exercise program usually becomes a part of your overall lifestyle. You may go to work, eat, shop, and spend time with family every day. When you add exercise to your list of daily activities, it becomes an integral part of your life, ensuring that you do it regularly. People often struggle with fitting everything into a daily schedule. When you combine spending time with a spouse or a partner and exercising, you can spend quality time together while getting important exercise. It’s possible to enjoy spending this time together while motivating each other to exercise and remain physically active. Exercising together may help keep both of you accountable as well. When you share common goals and a desire to stay healthy through physical activity, you may both be more likely to maintain this lifestyle.
Researchers have found that exercising with companions or in a group often helps people work harder and tolerate more discomfort. This may be due to an increased release of endorphins that occurs when working out with others. Some couples even enjoy some positive competition with each other when exercising together. This positive competition could motivate both partners to achieve goals to become faster or stronger. This can be especially beneficial if one partner struggles with motivation. Working together toward better health can be an effective common goal for partners.
How to Exercise Together
When you decide to become workout partners with your relationship partner, start slow to ensure success. You might try taking a brisk walk or a bicycle ride together to begin an exercise partnership. For success, the stronger partner should exercise at the slower partner’s pace. This ensures that everyone feels positive and motivated about the process. It’s also helpful to choose an activity that both partners enjoy. Some couples decide to adopt an activity together that is new for both of them. This enables both of you to learn about a new activity together, which helps bond you together in the common pursuit. This also ensures that one person does not have more expertise than the other. Make dates with each other to exercise. Whether your schedule allows for a daily date or you can only come together once or twice a week to exercise, prioritize this time for your relationship and for your physical health.
You might take an exercise class together designed for couples. Some couples try ballroom dancing or another type of dancing. You could ride bicycles together, jog as a team, or walk the family dog together. Some couples even decide to learn a new skill together, such as skiing or rock-climbing. Try joining a gym to exercise together in this environment. Whatever you opt to do as a couple, ensure that you both feel positive about it and motivated to engage in the activity.
- Physical Activity Basics
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Benefits of Physical Activity
- Physical Activity Has Many Health Benefits
- Benefits of Exercise
- Mental Health
- The Health and Social Benefits of Recreation (PDF)
- Staying Connected with Each Other
- Top Ten Reasons to Exercise and Be Physically Active (PDF)
- Exercise and Psychological Health
- Does Exercising with Another Enhance the Stress-Reducing Benefits of Exercise? (PDF)
- Getting Fit Together
- The Effects of Adrenaline on Arousal and Attraction
- Fitness Is a Lifestyle (PDF)
- The Effects of Competition and Physical Arousal on Attraction Between Game Dyads (PDF)
- Exercising Together: Tips for Couples
- The Benefits of Exercising Together