Valentine’s Day may be a distant memory but relationships don’t bide by a calendar. Who says dating has to involve food and drinks? Active dates will help you grow closer to your partner and a walk in the park can be just as rewarding as time in a fancy restaurant. Need more convincing? Check out these five surprising benefits of exercising with your partner. I’ll also share four practical considerations to help you get started.
Important Note: Love is a many splendid thing. If you’re single, this doesn’t exclude you. Apply the points of this article to a friend or family member (okay, except for the bits about your sex life) and focus on changing your relationship from sedentary to active. Everyone wins!
- You’ll feel closer to your partner.
Exercise releases endorphins and other brain chemicals that make you feel happy. If you experience those warm feelings during a workout with your partner, your bond will grow stronger. Studies also show that exercise can invigorate your sex life. That makes sense, given the fact that exercise improves your stamina and self-esteem.
- You’ll save a ridiculous amount of money.
There’s no denying that date nights can get expensive. If you’d like to save some cash, cut a few bar and restaurant visits. That doesn’t mean you can’t go out with your partner. Just eat dinner at home, do something active in the evening, and treat yourself to a slice of pie afterward. You’ll probably end up saving at least $40/week, which can add up quickly!
- You’ll be encouraged to stick with your routine.
Exercising with your partner is a great way to stay accountable. You’ll be more consistent, because skipping a day doesn’t only affect you. It also affects your partner. Think about how much they will miss your company if you stay home. Imagine how you would feel if the roles were reversed. That doesn’t mean you should feel guilty if you simply can’t make it. But you should be considerate of your partner.
- You’ll improve your form and technique more quickly.
Some exercises are harder than others. It took me forever to learn how to do a dead-lift. An attentive partner can offer input that will help you get better at difficult exercises. It’s okay to work out by yourself, but you’ll probably improve a lot faster with feedback. You can also ask your partner to spot you during resistance training exercises for added safety. Just make sure to return the favor!
- You’ll learn to compromise and end up with a balanced workout.
Your partner won’t always share your opinion. You might think lifting weights is the way to go, but she might want to try a yoga class. You might love to run on the treadmill, but he might prefer exercising outside. You can have what you desire, but not all of the time. Most people neglect certain aspects of fitness, anyway. Compromising will help you achieve a healthy balance that includes cardio, strength, and flexibility training.
Sounds great in theory, but how can you put it into practice? Here are four practical considerations that will help you apply this material in your life.
- Be considerate of your partner’s schedule and lifestyle.
If your wife has to be at work by 6 a.m., do you really think she will want to exercise in the morning? If your boyfriend has a final exam tomorrow morning, it’s probably a bad time to suggest trying a new exercise class. Don’t plan anything until you figure out a time that is convenient for both of you.
- Accept that you might need to do your own thing sometimes.
Your workout routine should be determined by your specific fitness goal. If you want to gain muscle and your partner wants to lose fat, then you might need to go in different directions after you check-in at the gym. You can meet-up for a cool-down walk on the treadmill after you complete your workout.
- Don’t force your partner to try something intimidating on the first day.
A lot of men wish their girlfriend or wife would give weight-lifting a chance. Whatever you do, don’t throw her under a heavy barbell on day one. Start with some basic dumbbell exercises. Goblet squats, overhead presses, and bent-over rows are some good examples. Let her build some confidence before you ask her to try anything crazy.
- Involve your partner in the process so they can develop a sense of control.
No one likes to feel “forced” into anything. Never drag an inactive partner to the gym against their will. You need to make sure they have a positive experience. Hand them a class schedule and ask them to pick their favorite. Be mindful of their fitness level so you don’t overwhelm them. You also might enjoy this post where I share six ways to be a positive influence for the people you love.
Do you know a person who wishes their partner would be more active? If so, please feel free to share this article in a thoughtful email or Facebook share.