A couples workout is beneficial to health as well as to relationships. Exercise helps in improving oxygenation and blood circulation and keeps the heart healthy and primed. Partners working out together also motivate each other.
Exercises done as a twosome can take on any form. Both people in the relationship might be running side by side on two treadmills at the gym, each listening to their preferred music, and only occasionally interacting. Or, a joint workout could be two lifemates going to a yoga class together and doing synchronized or joint moves that are of mutual benefit.
There’s no right or wrong way to do pairs exercises, but the best ones help both participants have more enthusiasm, bonding, teamwork, and communication.
Doing exercises with your better half involves a lot of give and take. Your fitness levels and goals may differ, your schedules may not mix, or both of you may not share the same enthusiasm for exercise. But on the flip side, many benefits can be gained, too … like better body image, increased levels of happiness, and stronger relationships.
Let’s look deeper into shared exercises to see how to get the most out of them.
Working out with someone close to you has many benefits:
Joint exercise can help when one or both people who live together have chronic health conditions such as obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. When these ailments combine with other hereditary factors, they can all have a multiplicative effect on the heart.
Exercising can help control cholesterol levels, prevent hypertension, reduce obesity, and facilitate a diabetes control program.
Doctors usually prescribe exercises for each person according to their medical condition. Still, when pairs do their exercise regimens at the same time, there is all the more enthusiasm from both to keep up these routines that are so imperative to health.
On the pros side, there are some gains to working out as a team of two. Here they are:
According to Kyrsten Sackett-Fox et al., in their medical paper in Sage Journals, research has found that two people who had a sense that they were “in this goal of fitness” together could encourage each other more effectively to exercise daily.
If you exercise with your mate, it’s not as easy to skip sessions as you would if you were exercising alone. Your other half may provide gentle or stern reminders to keep you on task.
Exercise is one more dimension of time spent in each other’s company, so a quick jog together or cycling session may help a couple feel more connected – even if the workout is just for half an hour each day.
On the cons side, watch out for the potential for friction where there should be togetherness:
According to Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT, writing in Very Well Fit, one person may feel inadequate or small, especially if the fitter other person adopts a superior or harsh coaching role during the workouts. This happens more often when the abilities of both people differ significantly.
During exercise, it may please one of the two of you to make slow, fluid moves, while the other one may prefer a brisk one-two-three count-up when performing exercises. Body comfort is a big thing, and can blow up into a conflict if the body rhythms of both people are different.
With working people, finding time for joint exercising can be tough to schedule. The complex logistics involved in both getting to the same gym or class simultaneously from different places of work can often be off-putting.
Most couples will soon find out that you can’t force one person or the other to do something they don’t want to do. Even if they begin exercising together in full earnest, one of the two may slacken or not be able to sustain daily exercise. It happens all too often.
According to McClure Fitness, if you are driven towards an active lifestyle but your mate isn’t as passionate about it as you, that joint exercise goal can easily cause strain and resentment. If you still want to do exercises together, take a softer stand with your reluctant one. Don’t let either of you feel inadequate about personal choices. Focus on positive strokes.
Start your exercises alone, because it is likely to make the other person join in as well. According to Sarah E. Jackson, Ph.D. et al., in their medical paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Having a physically active partner raises the odds (by a factor of five) that the other person will become physically active as well.”
Instead of doing repetitive squats and push-ups, you could both opt for outdoor sports like badminton, basketball, swimming, or cycling. Choose physical activities that are more about having fun together. The word “exercise” shouldn’t even enter the conversation.
There are lots of exercises that require two to tango. Choosing one of these exercise regimens below may help you enjoy combined moves if you like that kind of bonding in movement.
According to Kristin Buettner, writing in Healthline, yoga is one of the more holistic, convenient, relationship-strengthening exercise routines, and there are lots of poses that require two people to do a truly collaborative workout. Get instructions from a licensed yoga practitioner. Don’t just watch online videos and try the combined poses.
Running, jogging, or just fast walking can be more fun if you choose various new routes that excite you. Include “relay runs”. These allow both runners to complete their part of the run at their own pace. This also gives both the required time between runs to recoup.
Trekking demands walking up and down naturally beautiful territory … enjoy the path you’re taking through wooded areas, up the mild hillslopes, down past the sandy beaches, or just along the banks of a winding river. Being in the embrace of Nature as a team can be a wonderful experience.
Exercising as a couple can be great fun and help build your bonding and harmony with your mate. While there are some logistical and motivational barriers to cross, the benefits to overall health and well-being are enormous. Our hearts can benefit from daily exercise, too – medically and emotionally. Stay heart-healthy. Be a Zinda Dil.