Taking time out of our day to workout, whether it’s an hour of yoga or 45 minutes of HIIT training, is extremely beneficial to us physically, mentally and psychologically. This we know.
But did you know it’s equally beneficial on your relationships when we bring along your significant other? A growing number of studies are revealing working out with your partner can actually improve your relationship, on a psychological level, as well as your workout!
Working out with your partner…
1. Increases your overall energy output
Ever thought that you push yourself a little harder if your partner joins you to workout? That competitive nature comes out and it’s unavoidable – but it’s actually one of the best motivators you could have! In psychology, researchers have observed that the presence of someone else during an activity will affect your abilities during. The same is often showed in physical activity, where partners’ speed, energy output and overall heart rate improves without being aware of the changes. This tends to increase as you both get fitter too!
2. Together, you feel happier
That post workout glow is multiplied when you work out with your partner, with studies showing that after a joint workout, couples feel “more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partners!” Ever heard of relationship counseling giving you abs? Well, this is the easiest way to work on your relationship and your body at the same time.
3. Allows you to both revel in the shared ‘improvements’
Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to slip into the comfortable, easy routines. Working out together allows you to both appreciate the fitter, healthier and confident bodies that you’re building together. It won’t be long until that initial spark of interest which brought you together starts creeping up again…
4. Brings you closer
Lifting weights at the same time? Completing those burpees at the same pace? Well, working out with your partner and coordinating your exercises has actually been proven to improve the feeling of emotional connection. The term is ‘non-verbal mimicry’ and it has shown to cause participants to feel “emotionally attuned” to each other, stating that they feel more “bonded” upon completion of their workout.
5. Increases your chances of achieving your goal
There’s a lot to say about the silent motivator that is you and your partners’ fitness goals. Studies have shown that setting couple fitness goals increases the chance of you sticking to it compared to goal set by yourself. A study of couples who joined a gym together compared to those in a relationship joining alone showed that the couples who joined together had significantly higher attendance as well as a much lower dropout rate compared to those in relationships, who joined individually.
6. Increases the overall amount of exercise done per week
Working out with your main squeeze won’t just help you reach your goals, but it’s been shown to overall increase the number of hours of exercise throughout the week. Researchers found in a 2016 study that when individuals start working out with their partners, increased the amount of exercise people took. And better yet, this was increased even further when their partner was emotionally supportive. So coordinate your activewear and get moving!
7. Improves your diet
When you’re putting in the effort on your body in the gym, you’ll actually find that your body craves whole, nutritious foods. Furthermore, if you and your partner are working on this together, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment which comes from sharing a healthy post-workout meal. You’ll have to try it out yourself to believe it…
8. Reduces you reliance on unhealthy habits
There’s a reason why the relationship 5 exists – when you get into a relationship you often get comfortable, and as a result, gaining a few kilos can seem inevitable. But, this is mainly because you’re encouraging each other to stay indoors, to order takeaway or to share a bottle of wine at the end of a long day. What would happen if you started encouraging each other to partake in healthy habits? Studies have found that when one partner stops an unhealthy habit the “other partner was more likely to make a positive health behavior change than if their partner remained unhealthy”. This included quitting smoking, working out more, and overall losing weight.