The Benefits of Working out as a Couple

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make a body feel and perform better, it’s got to be exercise. Whether you’re someone who has a long-standing fitness regimen, or someone who is trying to find the courage to stand up from the couch, there’s a good chance you’ve been overlooking a major asset to your fitness: your spouse.

Turns out that working out with your spouse could be good for your health, your beloved’s health, and the health of your marriage. This isn’t just optimistic cheerleading; science backs us up on these claims.

Here are 5 reasons to choose your partner in life as your partner in fitness.

1. Enjoy More Quality Time Together

Ideally, both of you should be working out several hours per week. Instead of allowing that personal time to take away from your quality time as a couple, you can choose to invest your workout hours not only into your personal health, but also into your partner’s health and the health of your relationship.

2. Increase Your Relationship Satisfaction

Exercise, as we all know by now, enhances both physical and mental wellbeing, but in 2000, lab studies showed that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples reported feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000).

Working out together on a regular basis, especially if you change up your choice of activity regularly, could help you remember why you fell for your spouse so hard back in the beginning.

3. Feel Sexier Together

Interestingly, exercise and sexual arousal are similar physical experiences. Think about it: if your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding, and you’re struggling to catch your breath, you might be lifting weights or having a heavy makeout session, but your body sends out similar chemical messages either way.

It turns out that working out together causes the physiological arousal, rather than strictly the novelty or the physical challenge of your chosen activity, that sparks romantic attraction (Lewandowski, & Aron, 2004).
Get sweaty together, and let that rush of endorphins carry you both away. Be sure to signal your mood to your spouse for an extra rush of excitement.

4. Feel the Fire of Friendly Competition

Couples can feel some extra heat in their workouts if they engage in some friendly competition. Try to beat your personal bests, see who can sprint to the end of the street faster, hold the pilates pose longer, or complete one more round of burpees; any way you choose to engage, friendly competition will maximize your workout potential and set sparks flying.

5. Enjoy Increased Emotional Bonds

Couples who work out together bond emotionally by relying on each other through exercise: whether they’re throwing a medicine ball back and forth, spotting each other in challenging yoga poses, or lifting weights together, they’re trusting each other and having that trust rewarded repeatedly.

Scientists at Santa Clara University report that people who work out with a partner with whom they feel comfortable are more energetic and have happier moods than those who work out solo, so grab your partner and get moving!

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.

Lewandowski, G. W., & Aron, A. P. (2004). Distinguishing arousal from novelty and challenge in initial romantic attraction between strangers. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 32, 361-372.


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