I can’t think of anything that makes my spouse happier than going on a family bike ride on a crisp fall day. It sounds kind of basic, yes, but I have to agree. Nothing quite compares to the cool fresh air blowing in your face while you check out the changing leaves and revel in your shared endorphin boosts and smiles. Another thing that makes this autumn family tradition so special is that we started going out of our way to ride bikes together like this about a decade ago, way before marriage and a mini-me entered the mix.
Could this early (and somewhat sustained) effort to sweat together have contributed to our apparent ability (and desire) to stay together? Science says it’s possible—even likely.
To start with, there are tons of obvious reason why combining workout time with romance is a modern couple multitasking win. You have built-in quality time, you keep each other motivated with the buddy system, and you experience a shared endorphin boost, meaning you’re making happy memories together. And that’s just the start.
Sweat together, stay (happily) together.
No matter how you measure success, coupling up works. Do you and your partner want to trim down? A 2015 study found that couples who set weight loss goals together were twice as successful as those who set them alone.
And if you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll be interested in research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness that found married couples who set out to exercise together have much higher rates of sticktoitiveness.
But perhaps most importantly, findings published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology strongly show that partners who exercise together report higher rates of happiness and satisfaction within their relationships.
Sound appealing? Grab your boo and throw on some spandex.
Workouts for Two
Either see the sights together as you pound the pavement or challenge each other while watching a quiz show on side-by-side treadmills.
See the countryside or choose a destination date five to 10 miles away. Have a pint of beer at your turnaround point, then pedal home for some Netflix and chill.
Gym (or Home Gym!)
Grab a medicine ball and play catch. From overhead passes, feet-to-feet sit-up passes, and core-strengthening back-to-back twists, you’ll get a great workout and have a free pass to get handsy at the same time.
Sidestep common roadblocks.
It’s hard to be a good motivator when you’re raring to go and your partner is…less than energetic. Support each other by scheduling your workout days to avoid other activities that will sap your energy, at least until your workout is over.
Maybe one of you is fitter (faster, stronger…whatever) than the other. No sweat. Maybe one person’s hard workout day is the other’s easy day. Problem solved.
Even though our nutso busy lives mean we can only exercise together a few times a month at this point (for hiking, biking, and even the odd three-hour partners yoga workshop on Valentine’s Day this year…which I loved it but he did not), my hus and I have really never stopped enjoying getting outside and doing heart-pounding activities together.
If you’re looking to take the plunge and work out with your partner, we say go for it.