Couples who sweat together, stay together

Staying healthy is tough, and sometimes it’s hard to do it alone. Research shows that having a workout buddy is important, but what happens when your workout buddy is also your significant other? Great things, that’s what! 

Physical fitness can benefit your own health and well-being, but it can also benefit your romantic relationship. There is a lot of evidence that suggests that couples who sweat together really do stay together. 

Working out as a couple can increase your contentment with your relationship. It’s proven when couples participate in an exciting physical challenge or activity together, they report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner. Exercise is a perfect example of the type of refreshing activity that can do this. It’s the physiological aspect of the activity, along with the challenge, that drives romantic attraction. Sharing a fitness goal is even more beneficial. Whether you want to join the Tri-Training Course together at the MetroRecPlex or decide to try out an Insanity! group fitness class, you’ll be boosting the quality of your relationship at the same time!  

Now improving your relationship is great, but another long-standing concept in social psychology is that just working out in the mere presence of someone else affects your ability to perform at a higher level. Even if you already feel competent doing a particular exercise, bringing along significant other can be a new way to boost your energy. This can improve your speed, agility and endurance.  On the other hand, if you are just learning to do burpees or manage a new elliptical machine on the HSHS Cardio Deck, having someone to help you through the process can be very encouraging, especially if it’s someone who loves you and wants you to succeed.

You can now help one another to achieve fitness goals. When a couple cares about fitness together it becomes easier to achieve fitness goals. A recent study of heterosexual couples showed that average-weight husbands who care about fitness engage in more physical activity when their wives offer more supportive health-related comments. Sharing in the ups and downs of a good stint in the weight room, a tough spin class, or a strenuous Zumba class, can provide the perfect opportunity to support one another. This time together will also Increase your emotional bond. 

When you work out together, it’s easy to create a context in which you can coordinate your actions. For example, maybe you will lift weights in rhythm with your partner, match your own walking or running pace, or toss medicine balls back and forth. This will create something called nonverbal mimicry, which benefits both of you. Nonverbal mimicry allows a couple to become more emotionally attuned with one another, and people who do this activity together tend to report the feeling of having a stronger bond with one another. Exercising together gives you the opportunity to create this connection while getting healthy together.