By Jo Finzi
The two of you may be at different fitness levels and have different goals, but there are plenty of reasons exercise together.
Safety. Who cares more about your safety than your soulmate?
Quality Time. Plan a workout time that fits both of your schedules. You’ll reach your fitness goals, without sacrificing that one-on-one time that every partnership needs.
A Common Interest. The possibility for new, unique activities is endless and keeps things exciting. You can never have too much in common.
Motivation & Support. Getting encouragement and praise from your partner is one of the best motivators.
A Deeper Bond. Exercise produces chemicals in the brain that evoke feelings of happiness, reduce stress, and also increase arousal and libido.
Respect & Pride. Taking care of your body and your health shows the person you care about that you want to be your best for them.
Balance. Often one partner tends to favor cardio (typically women) while the other tends to favor strength training (typically men). By working out together you can balance your workout program to include more of both.
So how does this work when you’re both at different fitness levels?
Here are some ideas:
Sign up for a class together. While a class like salsa dancing is perfect for couples, other classes will work just as well.
Consider trying something new that interests you both: martial arts, an indoor climbing clinic, running or yoga
Do cardio that allows you both to work at your own intensity level. Group classes like Spinning (indoor cycling) allow each participant to cater the workout to their fitness level
Do cardio side-by-side. At the gym, simply pick two cardio machines next to each other and work towards your individual goals.
When walking or jogging outside, try intervals. If you are a slow jogger and your significant other is faster, intervals will be perfect for both of you.
When strength training at the gym, switch places with one another between sets. About 90 seconds of rest between sets is beneficial anyway. So while you rest, your partner can complete one set of the exercise.
Stretch together. Assisted stretching has major benefits for your flexibility. Giving your partner a gentle tug or soft push in one direction can be helpful—just don’t overdo it.
Create a more active outdoor lifestyle together by trying up new ideas. Every bit of extra activity you do will benefit your body and your health. Hiking, canoeing, tossing a football, recreational cycling, rafting, camping, and just enjoying a nice, leisurely walk at the end of the day - all of these beat an evening in front of the TV.
Try your partner’s exercise ideas while they try yours. If you have trouble agreeing, compromise. For instance, do your walking routine on one day, and your partner’s upper body strength routine the next.