My fiancé and I will be saying “I do” in just a few short months. So #sweatingforthewedding has become a theme in my household. And while we go to the gym together all the time, we rarely work out together. I’m usually over here, he’s over there, and we high five when we cross paths between sets. That recently changed, though, when we signed up to run our first half marathon together this spring. Now, we are training together. Long Monday night runs have become a tradition, and we work out on the treadmills side by side as often as possible.
I can attest: Although I’m generally a fan of solo workouts, having a goal to work toward in tandem with my man has been a fun, not to mention butt-kicking, experience. This is no great surprise, as there are documented advantages to working out with your S.O. that can benefit you both.
Read on to find out if couples who sweat together, really stay together.
What’s better about working out together?
Here’s a look at some of the potential benefits of getting sweaty with your partner.
1. It provides accountability
If you need a push to get out of bed in the morning for your 5 a.m. workout, setting goals with your partner could be the solution. If they’re up and ready to go, you’ll be more likely to get your sweat session done instead of hitting snooze for the next hour. Having an accountability partner can make you stick to your guns, even on days when a workout is the last thing you want to do.
2. It brings happiness to your relationship
Exercise makes you a happier person individually. (Thanks, endorphins!) If you participate in physical activity with your partner, you get to experience that together. Pushing and motivating each other, then experiencing results, creates positivity to bond over.
3. It increases your emotional bond
According to Psychology Today, working out with your partner — running at the same pace, lifting weights in rhythm, or tossing a medicine ball back and forth — creates “nonverbal matching.” Nonverbal matching helps people feel “emotionally attuned with one another.” Those who experience or engage in it tend to report greater feelings of bonding with their partner.
4. It establishes mutual commitment and the importance of physical activity in a relationship
If you and your partner make working out together a regular thing, you establish a common goal and respect that physical activity is important, for yourselves and your relationship. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that individuals are more likely to make a positive health behavior change if their partner does, too. Go ahead and make a daily workout part of your routine together to strengthen your foundation.
Working out as a couple, what could possibly go wrong?
Although there are plenty of benefits, too many workouts with your S.O. may be distracting or even discouraging. Here are some of the potential drawbacks.
1. You miss the ‘me’ time a workout often provides
Exercise acts as a great stress reliever, giving you time to clear your head and focus on the workout in front of you … on your own. And let’s face it — your morning or evening workout may very well be the only time you’re alone all day.
2. Your fitness levels are different
Going on a run together sounds like a great idea, until you remember that your partner can run an 8-minute mile, and well, you can’t. They say they’ll stick with you, but then they barely break a sweat the entire time.
3. Your results vary
You’re doing all the same workouts and eating all the same foods, so why is he the only one fitting into his skinny jeans? Keep in mind that at the beginning, men tend to lose weight at a faster rate than women because they usually have more lean muscle. This burns more calories than fat.
If you can power through any discouragement that may pop up, working out with your S.O. can provide benefits for both of you. Help keep the spark alive by working out together a few days a week, or on weekends. Getting sweaty is not only beneficial for your own health, but for the health of your relationship.
If you and your partner are at different fitness levels or are just bored with your same old gym routine, try out these ideas:
- Look for new workout classes and opportunities that neither of you have tried before to even the playing field. Options near you might include trapeze or trampoline classes, aerial yoga, or kayaking.
- Join a coed adult sports league together and have fun working out with others while trying Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, or tennis.