Is it good for couples to work out together? Ahhh, love … anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows it requires a time commitment, good communication and preferably some common goals. They also know that working out together can be… what’s the word? Complicated.
Exercise can be a source of energy, joy and deeper connection in a relationship or it can be one of contention or frustration. Couples that exercise together have a special dynamic all their own – sometimes it works well and sometimes it does not.
In our gym we have LOTS of couples working out together regularly! Some work out together every day – others come at different times – and since we just ended February, the month of looooove, we want to honor their commitment, not only to their health, but to the health of their marriages and the lifelong benefits they receive by putting a focus on their physical and mental health – whether it is together or separate!
If you’ve ever thought of working out with your spouse, you may want to scan these pros and cons to make the decision that best suits your relationship!
PROS of working out together
- Accountability – the motivation of two people with a shared goal is powerful.
- Married couples often follow schedules to keep their lives in order. When workouts are scheduled, they are more likely to be completed.
- In one study, it was found married couples working out together were TWICE as likely to experience weight loss and that 2 years later, 70% of those married couples were still working out regularly. The solo counterparts in the study were only 25% as likely. This. Is. Huge.
- Increased Variety – One partner prefers CrossFit? The other partner prefers Boot Camp? One of you prefers Personal Training or hiking or local races? It’s fine to do your own thing, but it’s also fun and motivating to try new things. Switching it up can help you try things you wouldn’t normally prefer, and your partner will feel so supported in their love of this different style!
- Improved Relationship –
- Experiencing something together helps strengthen your bond. Your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone, when trying new things – and in this case that great feeling will be linked with your partner’s presence.
- Working out is a mood enhancer. Couples that work out together, according to this study, will “feel more satisfied with their relationship and more in love with their partner”.
- I don’t think I need to go into how important human touch is in relationships. In this digital and distracted world, can high-fives and congratulatory booty smacks during exercise between happy, healthy couples ever be a bad thing?! (For some added opportunities to share a connection with your partner, try these 12 Couples Yoga Poses.)
- Quality Time – Time is our most precious asset and usually our most scarce resource. It must be spent effectively. We all need time with our partners. We all need time to work on our health. What better time management than to put these two together?!
CONS of working out together
- If one partner is fit, but the other is not, it can cause a space of contention, insecurity, overwhelm or jealousy.
- In this case, the “healthier” partner may feel like their hard work is not appreciated or feel derailed if their partner is pushing poor choices on them.
- One of both partners might miss the “me” time a solo workout often provides – if your workout is the only time you have to yourself all day, it might be better to keep it separated from your spouse.
- Different fitness levels can make working out as partners difficult. A great way to work around this is to complete a group fitness workout together. These classes usually offer varied or scaled movement for all fitness levels.
- Your results will vary, which can cause emotional challenges. You and your partner can eat all the same foods and do all the same workouts, but like all human beings, you are in two different bodies, and each will respond to these inputs differently.
If you prefer the private space of your own workout, keeping a separate fitness schedule from your partner will give each of you the “me” time you need so you can be better for yourselves and each other at the end of the day.
If you can power through any obstacles that may pop up in a healthy manner, working out with your partner can provide awesome benefits for both of you! You will enjoy your workouts, experience an extended bond as a couple and most likely stick to your health routines much longer together!
Here’s what our special RHINO COUPLES have to say about their fitness relationships with their partner:
Kim/Derek Ganong -
Pros: built in accountability buddy and guilt tripper
Built in cheerleader and hype man
We help keep each other honest with diet and consistency
Commiseration buddy when sore
Cons: they see everything
Sam/Cassidy I. - Hi Jenn. Here's a pic of Seng pushing me around on the sled. We both really enjoy working out and the best way for us to do that together is to have one of your fantastic coaches be in charge of the workout. It keeps us from trying to boss each other around at the gym! It's also really cool to have someone to talk to about the workout on the way home who can relate.
Jamae/Dayna Young -
Pros and cons to couple working out together (may be in a few messages if I think of more lol) some pros.. Similar to dance class
(miss that) it helps you work together and have something in common and in out case helps push me to work harder to see him smile at me and make him proud (as you know that can be a pro and a con
ie injuries) Helps couple create that shoulder to shoulder feeling that men crave too, and can help a woman feel loved when he shoulders more of the team effort or give her a boost over a wall. Just the vibe of encouragement and knowing he's proud of me for doing my best and celebrates with me as I get stronger and do things I have not been able to do in almost 20 years, or ever.
Cons... Shorter list im sure, the main one is personal goals are generally different and knowing what is best for you is not always what is best for the other and you do not want to feel like your holding your spouse back even though desire to always run at his side, I know that can be selfish. It is amazing though, there was a time I couldn't even run at all, let alone do monkey bars etc.
Rikki Hamilton/Janessa Miran
Laree/Chris Holladay - When I started this journey over 3 years ago to get healthy, to feel strong and loose weight, Chris was an instant "I'm in and here to support you!" I wanted something that would challenge me and push me outside of my element and CR continues to do that for me. I was so scared and unsure about walking into the gym and luckily I had my husband right there with me and encouraging me to follow through. He also admits when he feels pushed and unsure of himself but we are able to work together as a team and root each other on. It's been beneficial to have each other to workout out with. When I feel like I can't do it, or want to give up, Chris is right there telling me to push through it and that I can do it! He's right there with me and often will do the movement with me! We make a good team and can have fun working out with each other, tease one another, help each other and be a team. This journey really has brought us closer to each other, not only in the gym but outside the gym. Hopefully we model positive exercise and partnership to our kids too! I think they see it because they think it's so cool they have parents that sweat together and encourage each other!!