The couple who works out together…stays together? While this isn’t quite a guarantee, it’s not a stretch. As relationships progress, the behavior of both people in the couple tend to mirror each other – and this includes health habits. In fact, a Brigham Young study of 5,000 married couples found that when the husband was healthy the wife tended to also be healthy, and vice versa. Similarly, a University of Pittsburgh study of 3,075 women and men found that highly active men were three times more likely to have highly active wives.
Because of the natural dynamics of a healthy relationship, couples tend to make especially good workout partners. They are complimentary and encouraging of each other and generally balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Furthermore, working out together motivates both partners to push themselves and meet higher fitness goals. Studies show that couples who exercise together – even if it is in the same location while doing separate workouts – stick to their plans and exercise routines better than couples who don’t. Tatiana Perez, a NYC based student, and her boyfriend love working out together – and she says she stays more motivated when they work out as a twosome than when she is by herself. They get creative by staying out of the gym in favor of running together in parks or, if they stay in, she kickboxes while he lifts weights.
Getting in exercise also creates “us-time.” In today’s busy world, carving out time together can be a real challenge. Becoming workout partners is a great way to get in some extra face time in a way that doesn’t seem like a chore or obligation. Furthermore, exercising creates more feel-good bonding hormones in both people that can inspire closeness. DC-based chef Bren Herrera credits an active lifestyle and working out together to pushing a former relationship out of the friendzone and into romance. She felt it was a great way to get to know each other. The support and push was always there both ways.
Not all couples are at the same fitness levels but having one half of the relationship at a lower level than the other isn’t necessary a workout buzzkill. NYC events manager Erin Linfonte has a boyfriend who is a fitness fanatic currently preparing to become a personal trainer. They work out together whenever their schedule permits, with workouts and eating programs that he creates. While they sometimes workout separately while both at the gym, she prefers when they work out together. She says, “It’s better motivation [for me]! Although it seems that he helps me more than I help him.”
Whether it’s finally joining a gym together or making it a point to take a walk and talk together a few times a week, or any other physically active activity, working out with your significant other has countless benefits for your health and your bond. Whether you (or your love) is a newbie, an expert or falls somewhere in between on the fitness scale, grabbing your partner and getting going is just a step away.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you worked out and exercised together?