Working it Out: How Exercise Can Improve Your Relationship
It’s common knowledge that if you exercise regularly, you’ll reap a range of physical rewards. These include everything from improving your cardiovascular health to lowering your body fat. What’s more, regular exercise can greatly improve your emotional and psychological wellbeing. From reducing anxiety and stress, to structuring your daily routine, sticking to a regular fitness regime can work wonders for your mental health. Exercise can even enhance a relationship. Exercising together with your spouse or partner gives you a shared activity which can help to increase your emotional and physical connection. Read on to learn more about the benefits of exercise for couples and how you can build a joint exercise routine.
General Benefits of Exercise
Exercising every day has a number of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. Daily exercise will build your overall fitness level and strength, as well as help to control your weight. Regular exercise can even help you to avoid a range of chronic diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, and even some cancers. Physicians recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week at a moderate intensity level. Aerobic activity includes brisk walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, or bicycling. In addition to this, adults should also engage in strength-building activities on two or more days every week. This can be even more important in later life when your body has a harder time building muscle and tends to lose the muscle strength it already has. For women, this can mean losing up to 15% of their total body muscle mass per decade by middle age. Strength building is key to battling this. Although you can perform these aerobic and strength building activities alone, it’s often way more enjoyable and motivating to work out with a companion.
Exercise Benefits for Couples
Regular exercise is one of the many things which contribute to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It’s often difficult to fit exercise into your daily schedule. It can be much easier if you work with your partner or spouse to encourage eachother to stick to a structured fitness routine. When you share common goals and a desire to stay healthy, you’ll be more likely to maintain this lifestyle. This can be especially beneficial if one partner struggles with motivation. Working together towards better health can be an effective common goal for partners. Researchers have found that exercising with companions or in a group often helps people work harder and tolerate more discomfort. 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.
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’s 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. It 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 get 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 dancing, rowing as a team (or against each other in a virtual race), or trying a HIIT routine from your living room. 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.