Easy — the camaraderie, the support, the motivation, the like-mindedness, heck, even the ability others have to get our minds off how tough it is sometimes.
So it should go without saying that working out with someone close to you has even more benefits — including a host of them for your relationship. Yes, it turns out that exercising with your significant other has some significant positive effects on you both!
How, exactly? We’ve rounded up 6 reasons exercising with your partner can be a bonding experience and a way to keep you on-track.
Doing a regular fitness routine with your partner makes you happy. And we’re not just saying that — there’s real science behind it. A study released in 2000 found that couples who did physical activity together reported greater overall satisfaction with their relationship in general.
In 2012 Dr. Jane Greer, New York–based marriage and relationship psychotherapist and author, told YouBeauty.com, “When a couple works out together, the actual exercise itself can physically and emotionally have a positive impact. … Both partners come away with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit, and shared passion. Then you throw in some spicy endorphins, and it can be a real power trip for the relationship.”
Your palms start to sweat, your heart rates increases, your breath gets short … wait, are we talking about exercise here, or falling in love? The way your body reacts to both are nearly identical.
In fact, an oldie but goodie 1974 study found that people often confuse the similar physiological reactions for romantic arousal. That means that the attraction you and your partner feel for one another is likely to go up the more you work out together.
According to certified personal trainer, Helen Ryan, in a 2013 Daily News Interview, one of the main benefits she's seen for couples who workout together is what she calls "guilt-free workouts." Doing it together means you don't have to choose fitness over time with your partner, she explains.
Making workout time, together time means that the hours you spend enriching your health also become time-well spent nourishing your relationship.
Are you the kind of person who wants to be cheered on and encouraged during a fitness routine, or would you rather be left alone and maybe patted on the back after?
Whatever your cup of tea, your significant other probably knows you well enough to give you the exact kind of motivation that fits with your personality. And together, you can leverage that inside knowledge to stay dedicated.
Anyone who’s ever been in a committed relationship knows, the more you have in common with one another (or are able to compromise with one another), the more likely you are to stay in it for the long haul. Whether your partner likes to work out or not, finding that compromise to go at it together will help you stay committed not just to the gym, but to each other, too.
While we already know from many past studies that couples can share bad habits, in an unprecedented 2015 study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers finally studied the beneficial effects spouses have on their partner’s fitness.
The study looked at more than 3,700 cohabiting and married couples, all over the age of 50. The participants had been given questionnaires every four years since 2002! The team found that men and women shed more weight, get more active, and are more successful at quitting smoking when their partners are pursuing the same fitness goals.
Nearly 70 percent of couples who worked out together were still going to the gym at least once a week two years later, compared to those who exercised alone, where only a quarter continued to be active. Men and women were more than twice as likely to lose weight when they teamed up with their significant compared to going it alone. And though the participants were all over 50, the researchers believe that their findings would apply to couples of all ages.
So perhaps the best reason of all to exercise with your significant other may be finally finding success!
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.