Jul 28, 2014

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How (and Why) to Add Exercise to Your Relationship

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couple exercising

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?

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Alexandra Morbitzer

Alexandra Morbitzer

Alexandra Morbitzer is the founder of Fit Latina. She attended St. John’s University where she was a Division 1 Big East athlete on the varsity track and field team. As a lifelong athlete, she grew up in a family that put a high importance on wellness and being active. Passionate about creating healthy life styles that stick (and work), she founded Fit Latina in April 2012 after discovering a lack of available fitness, nutrition and wellness resources and community space that focused particularly on Latinas. Fit Latina is a social media platform aimed at opening and engaging dialogue among women about creating and developing a healthy lifestyle without totally losing cultural identity. On the page, women can find tips, recipes, inspiration, information, sample fitness plans and encouragement while connecting with others. Fit Latina is featured as a weekly column on Being Latino online magazine, a bimonthly column on New Latina and has also been seen in El Diario La Prensa. Alexandra is based in New York City. Connect with her on Twitter @AlliChasesBliss and on facebook and check out Fit Latina on Twitter @FitLatina and on facebook.com/FitLatina.

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Comments

  1. I LOVE working out with my husband! Over the past 6 years we’ve watched each other morph from slightly overweight to avid cyclists and charity runners, and then to top 10 placements in duathlons and triathlons. Our increased fitness has improved every area of our lives and our relationship. The best relationship strategy ever!

    • Alexandra Morbitzer says:

      That’s so awesome, Christine! Keep up all that hard work and dedication. . .and keep enjoying your hubby! :)

  2. my boyfriend of 3 years and i initially bonded over bicycles. we frequently ride together for both transportation and for exercise. when we are training for a long bike ride, he’s a great coach. we also do bike camping together. it’s certainly cemented our bond and i look forward to many more bike rides with him! :)

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