Want to get active and healthy while also improving your romantic life? That’s right. The two go hand in hand. If you are concerned about your spouse’s/partner’s health or weight, the solution might be as easy as becoming their new workout buddy! So many couples have come to PFC together in hopes of leaving with a healthier body, and end up leaving with so much more. Just take a look at one of our favorite PFC power couples, Chris and Jenn. They are a prime example of how exercising with your partner is a great way to improve your health together AND build a closer relationship.
Working out with a partner sustains activity and is so much more motivating than exercising by yourself! Several years ago, a series of studies came out which showed that couples who work out together increase their chances of sticking to their exercise program by 90%! It can also make for a great romance too. Want to fire up your relationship and tighten your emotional bond with each other? Couples who are supportive of each other working out, and who work out together, find improved health in their relationship and are able to work out conflict more easily. Additionally, there’s enough research out there indicating that exercise leaves couples feeling an increased sexual desire and responsiveness, and find improved sexual performance, regardless of age. Studies show that men and women who work out regularly report better and more frequent sex with their partners –so how much more enjoyable can exercising with each other be?
Not only does going to the gym together enable couples to spend quality time with each other, it allows for discussion of mutual goals, creates this shared commitment to well-being, creates mutual motivation, develops a deeper bond with each other, and offers many chances to celebrate each other’s successes. When it comes to the heart, there’s so much more at play than just cardio! Try incorporating some of these practices into your relationship and notice the positive changes:
1. Take a Class Together: From spinning to yoga to boxing, there are so many different ways you can exercise together. Yes, you may need to try something new and different from your individual workout routine, but learning something new together can be fun! This creates a shared experience that the two of you can bond over and allows you to learn more about your partner’s fitness goals.
2. Don’t Stray to Far: Do cardio side by side by finding two treadmills, stair machines, or bikes and work at your own speed—double headphones in the same iPod lets you share great music too! Find other workout activities that you can do with each other that are different but compatible. Lifting weights near the treadmill your partner is on gives you a chance to do your own thing, side by side.
3. Learn how to stretch each other: Gently helping each other with a pull or push can ease each other’s muscles before and after a couples’ workout. Just be gentle. This is not the place to work out your anger!
4. Build Trust: Develop more trust with each other simply by serving as each other’s spotter when doing weight training. Knowing your partner is there to assist you can aid in communication and trust building. Bench presses, chest flies and skull crushers can provide opportunities to assist each other and demonstrate a feeling of safety between the two of you. And there’s nothing like saying “thanks” to help a relationship.
5. Eye contact: Making eye contact and communicating while exercising offers chances for intimacy building that can extend to other activities that are, well, a bit more intimate and reserved for out of the gym exercise.
Here are four intimate exercises you may want to reserve for home:
The Clam Stretch to loosen your hips and lower back. Begin sitting on the floor facing each other with the guys legs spread open as far as possible with the women doing the same thing only with resting feet on the inside of the guy’s ankles. Reach for each other’s hands, guys lean back and slowly pull your lady toward you. Hold for about 15 or 30 seconds and reverse the stretch.
The PushUp to focus on strengthening your chest and arms. Guys, start by lying on the floor on your back and girls get in a pushup position right above the guy. Girls, lower yourself until you are in kissing range, KISS, and then push back up. After a comfortable amount of reps, switch positions.
The Loving Situp focuses on your abs and back. OK, guys, sit in a chair or on the edge of a bed or couch. Girls, sit on your guy’s lap facing him with your legs comfortably positioned around his hips. Guys if need be, support her with your hands on her hips. Girls lower your body as far back as you comfortably can, sit up and do it again. This is primarily for women to do this movement.
The Bed Pillow Switch also targets the abs. Take a bedroom pillow in outstretched arms and facing back to back, rotate at your waist as far as you can to one side and pass the pillow to your partner who has twisted in the same direction. Then whoever received the pillow twists in the opposite direction and the other person takes it. Keep going until you are ready to put your heads down on the pillow.
It’s well known that exercise is good for the body, soul and mind. Now, add that it’s also good for your relationship! Your home, the gym, the hiking trail, the track, the bike path and a host of other fitness sites may just inspire your next romantic date.