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If you think that improving your fitness and your relationship are mutually exclusive, think again! You can benefit both your body and bond at the same time by exercising with your significant other.
Whether you are just starting down the path of getting healthy, or you’ve been a “fitness freak” for years, don’t do it alone. Even if you’re the focused, lone ranger, introverted type at the gym, mix it up from time to time and workout with your partner. Not only will you both get in better shape, but you’ll also reap benefits like:
According to PsychologyToday.com, “Lab studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner… Sharing a fitness goal, taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship.”
Try one – or all – of these exercise ideas to get more fit this year while growing your relationship. Because the couple who trains together, stays together!
1. Run a Race
Nothing bonds people quite like overcoming challenges and “suffering” together! Choose a race that neither of you have done before, and set out to conquer it as a team. If you’re new to races, try a 5k, sprint triathlon, or a mud run. If you want to laugh and have more fun along the way, try The Color Run, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, or a Disney Marathon. Then you can take turns foam rolling and massaging each other’s sore muscles afterwards!
2. Make it a Competition (AMRAP Workout)
Turn your workout into a friendly competition – loser takes the winner on a date of their choice! You can even skip the gym and do a workout at home using just bodyweight exercises. See who can complete the most rounds of determined exercises in a set amount of time. For instance, set a timer for 15 minutes and complete as many reps as possible (AMRAP) of the following: 10 push-ups, 20 squats, 30 jumps with a jump rope, 20 sit-ups – or any other exercises that you like.
3. Rock Climbing
It’s all about team work! Depending on where you live, it can be pretty easy to find a climbing gym. Spend a few hours learning how to belay and making sure you don’t let each other fall. You’ll have to learn to support and trust each other, which is perfect for building your relationship outside of the gym. Plus, the fun will distract you from the fact that you’re seriously working muscles all over your body.
4. Go Hiking
Soak up some mood-boosting vitamin D and enjoy the outdoors together by going on a hike. You could make this a romantic date by choosing a slightly easier hike and packing a picnic for when you find a spot with a view. Choose a more grueling hike when you’re ready for a challenge and need each other’s support to keep going when you’re tired, or lend a hand crossing a river.
5. Go on a Bike Tour
Depending on where you live and your style, you can find a fun day or weekend bike tour to explore a new area together – or see your neighborhood in new light. Take a scenic wine tasting and picnic trip in the hills, a casual ride through a beach town, or a fresh-air mountain trail tour. You’ll get to see and try new things together while burning calories the whole time.
6. Acro Yoga
Admittedly, ladies, this one may take some convincing to get your man to agree, so assure him that this circus-like partner yoga will allow him to show off his strength and put him in control. According to YogaJournal.com, this form of yoga is “About becoming completely vulnerable, in trust with a yoga partner, and discovering that sweet spot of opening up to curiosity, freedom, and play.” What better way to build your relationship? If this one’s too much, then try a yoga and beer event - many cities now offer yoga classes followed by a beer garden, which may be a good first step for your man.
7. Go Dancing
Again, every guy may not jump at the idea of this one. But part of connecting as a couple is trying new things together, right? Show off your skills as a couple or make fools of yourselves together, but either way, dancing is a fun way to burn tons of calories and tone muscles. Try out a variety of styles to see what you both enjoy – ballroom, country line, salsa, swing. If nothing else, stay at home and pump some jams you both love and freestyle without worries of looking silly to anyone else.
8. Touch Football with Friends
If the dancing and yoga were too much, then this one should suit most guys a bit better. Grab a group of friends and a pigskin and head to a local park for a friendly game of touch or flag football. This will allow you to be together while getting in social time and a great workout. Play on the same team so you can root each other on and celebrate your shared victory when it’s all over!
9. Have Sex
We’re sure you can both agree to this one! Technically this isn’t the same as working out at the gym or playing tennis, but it is sure better than sitting on the couch and will definitely help you to feel connected. Plus, hormones released during sex help to reduce stress and make you feel relaxed and sleepy. More sleep and less stress are key factors in staying fit and maintaining your weight, so it’s a win all around!