Work out together to strengthen your relationship.
If you’re not working out as a couple with your significant other, you’re missing out on significant benefits. Couples who spend quality time together working up a sweat (yes, even outside of the bedroom) are proven to be happier, healthier and more fit. Whether you’re a gym rat, an avid runner or an aspiring yogi, inviting your loved one to join you for a workout will strengthen your relationship.
Five reasons to work out as a couple
1. It makes you happier.
You’ve probably heard of endorphins. They’re the so-called “happy chemical” produced by your pituitary gland and hypothalamus in response to exercise and other reward-based stimuli. The more you workout, the more you produce. That means less stress and a greater overall sense of wellbeing. Share that feeling with the one you love. Working out together makes for a happier relationship.
2. Your workout will be more efficient.
No one wants to appear weak in front of a romantic partner. And whether you know it or not, this can subconsciously affect your workout, making it more efficient. Research has shown that when you work out with a significant other, you increase your energy output, helping you go harder and faster for longer.1
3. It makes you more attractive to your partner.
Sweaty palms. Increased heart rate. Shortness of breath. Sound familiar? The physiological symptoms of exercise tend to mimic that of physical attraction. It’s a psychological phenomenon known as misattribution of arousal.2 In this situation, an individual can easily mistake the two. It’s a happy accident that can help you and your partner feel more attracted to one another — and that translates to more intimate moments.
4. You build a stronger bond.
It’s no secret: When you do things together you form a stronger emotional bond with your partner. Some of this can be attributed to a process called nonverbal mimicry. Mimicry is hypothesized to be used in social communication “to create greater feelings of affiliation and rapport between two individuals.”3
5. It motivates you.
There’s a reason professional sports teams still have cheerleaders, and no, it’s not (just) because sex sells. It’s because we all need someone to support us and cheer us on. In a 2013 study by Skoyen, et al., it was found that average-weight men in heterosexual relationships engaged in more physical activity when positively influenced by their partner. Simultaneously, women who valued health less than their partners responded to partner influence by eating healthier.4
Tell us about your experience working out as a couple
So, what do you think? Have we convinced you to hit the gym, pound the pavement or unroll your yoga mat with your significant other? Let us know! We want to hear all about your experiences working out as a couple. Leave us a comment, tag LFI on Facebook or tweet us!
1. Bond, C. F., & Titus, L. J. (1983). Social facilitation: a meta-analysis of 241 studies. Psychological Bulletin, 94(2), 265-292.
2. Aron, A., Norman, C. C., Aron, E. N., McKenna, C., & Heyman, R. E. (2000). Couples’ shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 273-284.
3. Gueguen, N., Jacob, C., Martin, A. (2009) Mimicry in social interaction: its effect on human judgment and behavior. European Journal of Social Science, 8 (2), 253-259.
4. Skoyen, J. A., Blank, E., Corkery, S. A., & Butler, E. A. (2013). The interplay of partner influence and individual values predicts daily fluctuations in eating and physical activity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30, 1000-1019.