Written by Jori Hamilton, Guest Writer
Whether you’re a running enthusiast, a boarder, a hiker, or you love hitting the gym every day, there are countless benefits to staying physically active. Not only does it keep you in great shape and lower your risk of health problems, but it can boost your mental health, too. Physical activity helps to reduce stress and can naturally improve your mood.
If you love staying healthy and working out, it only makes sense to include your partner in your physical fitness routine. Working out together is a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship (even if you’re not lifting weights!). Whether it’s a long walk together every night or strenuous workouts where you push and challenge each other, staying active with your partner can bring you closer than ever.
Plus, there might be some extra perks to consider.
Let’s take a look at how staying active with the person you love can be a great way to fit wellness into your day while taking active care of your relationship.
Cardio and Conversation
Communication is one of the keys to any healthy relationship. But, in today’s busy world, finding time to connect and have meaningful conversations with your partner isn’t easy. Working out together can offer a great opportunity to connect and bond. Things like walking, cycling, or even working out at the gym will give you time to talk while you’re burning calories. Plus, doing something physical together will build a natural intimacy between the two of you. That can help with your mental health more than most people realize. When you experience more intimacy in your relationship, it can help with things like:
- Bipolar disorder
When you take care of your mental health, you can focus more of your time, energy, and attention on your relationship. The word “self-care” gets thrown around a lot these days. But, it’s often necessary to maintain a state of mental well-being. Working out is a fantastic form of self-care. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t give yourself completely to a relationship if you don’t make your overall well-being a priority, first. When you do, you’ll be a more open, honest, connective communicator.
Communication is about more than just talking to each other. It’s really about listening, engaging, and interacting. When you’re both doing something strenuous, you’re already showing vulnerability. As a result, you might be more willing to open up about what’s truly on your mind and heart, fostering deeper conversations and a stronger, healthier, more intimate relationship.
It Can Ignite a “Spark”
Most people have heard the sayings about relationships losing their “spark” over time. What they really mean is that you might not have the same butterflies you had for your partner when you first met. That’s not uncommon and doesn’t indicate that your relationship is somehow on the rocks.
But, it’s never a bad idea to try things that can help to reignite that spark and remind you of your attraction for one another. Working out together can be one of those things.
Studies have shown that exercising can increase physiological arousal. It also offers a boost of testosterone, which increases the blood flow to the reproductive organs. For women, working out can create hormonal fluctuations, too – all linked to sexual arousal. It might sound like a stereotype or trope, but working out together as a couple can turn you on!
If you commit to getting fit together, make sure you’re both “all in”. Invest in some solid workout gear, including activewear jewelry that won’t get damaged or get in the way. Make a plan and schedule and list out some of your goals. When you’re trying to reignite your spark and feel the same excitement and energy in your relationship as before, you must both be on board. Even planning for it can boost your attraction, knowing it’s something you both want.
It’s not just a physical spark that can get reignited, of course. We already talked about communication, but working out together can lead to a lot of “little” words of encouragement, as well as big conversations. If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your body, or your strength levels, or even how little you might know about working out, your partner will be there as a built-in support system. You can do the same for them. It’s a wonderful way to remind yourselves and each other of how deeply rooted your love is, and why you fell for each other in the first place.
How to Get Started
Maybe you consider yourself a gym enthusiast and your partner isn’t (or vice versa). Or, maybe you’re both new to regularly working out and you want to get started together. No matter what, the best thing you can do is simply to take that first step. Consider things you would actually enjoy doing, rather than workouts that might feel like chores. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have some fun trying out things like:
- Dance classes
- Playing frisbee in the park
- Joining a sports team together
- Horseback riding
You can even turn your next romantic date into a fun way to stay fit. While sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a movie is always a good time, consider something unique like going on a hike together. It’s a great way to enjoy time in nature, motivate each other, and spend the whole day together.
If you need more motivation to start getting active, consider adopting a dog as a couple. Almost every dog breed requires daily exercise, and they’ll encourage you to get outside and play or go for a walk – even when it’s tempting to be lazy! Plus, having a dog can help with your mental health, making it easier to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Every relationship is different, and there are plenty of things that can build strength and closeness as a couple. But, staying active together is one of the best ways to boost your bond and your health, all at once. Look for something you’ll both enjoy, and have fun while staying fit.