Sex, love and peace: the benefits of exercising with your boo
Not only can you tone your body and de-stress your mind, but you can also improve your love life when you hit the gym as a couple.
Robbie Ann Darby, The Root | 8/25/2015, 1:35 p.m.
Not motivated to hit the gym? Having a hard time sticking to your workout plan? Might be time to recruit your boo! In fact, studies show that couples who work out together increase their chances of sticking to their exercise program by 90 percent. However, the real power in power lifting with your lover is that couples who sweat together really do stay together. So if you’re looking to strengthen your body and your relationship, here are some tips to show you how teaming up can help you shape up.
Stay Accountable for Workout Success
On the days that you would rather run to happy hour than to the gym, taking a moment to remember that your love bug is waiting not only to cheer you on but also to be cheered on is motivation in itself. Feeling guilty for skipping a solo sweat session is one thing, but the guilt you feel for letting down someone else is another. So don’t leave your loved one hanging on the pullup bar. Instead, invite accountability to the party and automatically eliminate the one thing that’s most likely standing between you and your results: a lack of consequences.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
I can hear you now: “I love yoga and he loves CrossFit! Working out together will never work!” Typical concern. However, having different interests is what keeps relationships interesting, right? Remember when you first started dating and you learned how to play spades simply because he wanted to be partners at the next game night? Or that time he saw that rom-com with you even though a blockbuster action flick hit theaters the same weekend?
Well, then, how about incorporating this “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality into your fitness life? By doing so, not only will you be ditching your comfort zone, but you’ll also be opening the door to optimal training. This is great because when you do the same workout over and over again, plateaus are sure to be had. But when you’re efficient in various forms of exercise (i.e., optimal training), new challenges will begin to breed new results. So partner up, learn new things and get in the best shape possible all at once.
Boost Your Bond and Your Bod
Dinner and a movie is so last season. So shake things up and enjoy quality time with your foxy flame in a fun and healthy way. By choosing to catch up over a set of pushups, you’ll build not only amazing arms but also a deeper intellectual and emotional bond with your lover. Plus, healthy competition never hurt anybody.
But even if you don’t have a boo to bang out reps with, you can still join forces with a friend or fitness role model to enjoy the same benefits. Which is great, since most of us have at least a little competitive streak in us. By teaming up, you’ll perform better, but you also just might make a new friend or connection in the process. Remember, though, that the key to maximizing your tag team motivation is to work out with a buddy who is no more than 40 percent fitter than you are.
Sweat Together, Stay Together
Is fighting with your sweetie at an all-time high? Well, don’t sweat the small stuff—just sweat together instead. When we exercise, the brain releases chemicals known as endorphins into our bodies. These babies are pros at both reducing levels of stress and amping up feelings of happiness. So take advantage of this fitness therapy and sign up for a couples-based workout with your honey—stat. Also, since many gyms and trainers offer deals when you join together, you can even save cash (read: Skip those financial disagreements). Talk about strength in numbers.
Speaking of endorphins, exercise also releases chemicals directly connected to your libido and arousal. Couple this with the better body you’ll gain by sweating with bae, and you have a winning combo. In fact, countless studies have shown that partners who enjoy exercising together report having better sexual relations. So bring sexy back and burn calories in the gym and outside the gym. Doctor’s orders.