The best relationships are all about finding balance and harmony in each other. Of course, with the constant clamor of our busy lives though, it can be hard to find that — let alone time together.
But recent studies have shown that couples who make it a priority to enjoy a wide range of shared interests and active lifestyles together actually have one of the more healthier relationships in comparison to those who lead a more stagnant lifestyle and separate their pastimes. Research suggests working out with your partner not only strengthens the bond between you two with effective communication, but the sweating side-by-side has the power to help you both gain a stronger connection.
Marriage and relationship psychotherapist, Dr. Jane Greer tells lifestyle website, YouBeauty that when a couple works out together, “the actual exercise itself can physically and emotionally have a positive impact.” As she reveals, both partners not only increase their endorphins during a workout, but equally come away from the experience with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and a shared passion.
Strengthens emotional connection
When partners decide to work out together, they are helping each other create a context in which they can coordinate their actions. In the British Journal of Psychology, researchers found mimicking actions and goals together produced partners who are more effectively attuned to one another. For example, you might jog with your partner in the same rhythm, with a matched pace; or toss medicine balls back and forth at the gym with a balanced flow. Not only does this kind of behavior create nonverbal cues and matching that brings about that mind-reading skill, but it helps you both to feel more emotionally in tune with one another. Participants from the British study reported greater feelings of having “bonded” with their partner after taking part in shared fitness goals, providing them with the opportunity to create a deeper connection for a healthy relationship.
Boosts overall relationship and romance satisfaction
Whether you’re taking part in a Mud Run or just training at the gym together, a study in the international journal, Social Behavior and Personality suggests couples who share in physical challenges or activities actually report feeling more satisfied with their relationship, as they found themselves being happy and much more in love with their partner. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that exercise induces symptoms of physiological arousal. From sweaty hands to a racing pulse, to that shortness of breath — these symptoms in some ways are said to mirror the thrill of romantic attraction.
It’s no surprise either as the journal of Sports Medicine found a direct correlation in the increase of endorphins with exercise almost 30 years ago. In case you forgot that biology lesson: endorphins are the “happy” hormones in our body, known as all-natural painkillers that activate receptors in the brain to help us minimize discomfort. This means, sharing a common fitness goal, taking runs together or even date night at the gym can boost overall relationship quality and amp the romance.
Improve sex life and performance
It’s no secret that sex is a big part of a functional relationship, but exercise is an incredible way to complement that dynamic as a rewarding experience to not only strengthen your bond with one another, but rouse feelings for each another. Exercise is said to improve body image and boost overall confidence, but it also plays a big part in how we feel about our bodies. And the better you feel about it, the more relaxed sex can be between two partners. Moreover, it can renew the spark between two lovers as the mutual fitness adventure makes the journey and goal much more smoother together.
A study in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality found more men and women who deemed themselves as “physically fit” rated their own sexual desirability higher than those who were less active. It was discovered that 80 percent of males and 60 percent of females who exercised two to three times a week rated their own sexual desirability as above the norm. As the days of exercising increased per week, so did the participant’s views of their own sexual desirability. The study goes on to suggest that 69 percent of men and 88 percent of women who are physically fit rate their sexual performance higher than those who don’t exercise as often. This increase can be attributed to not just an improved confidence in body image, but a physiological reason, such as better circulation and blood flow.
Helps you reach your goals faster
When partners share in on exercise routines, they not only gain a better understanding of what their partner desires in their fitness goals, but they end up caring about what they want by instilling a deeper accountability. It’s hard to flake on your partner when they are insisting to get that 5-mile run in with you — you can’t really complain. When the two of you find a fine balance, you can create better goals and motivate each other to get there. And, if the two of you are reaching goals together, it also brings about a little playful — and often frisky — fun to the whole fitness game with healthy competition, which can turn up the heat and strengthen mental and emotional bonding.
A study from the University of Arizona suggests husbands who care about their fitness routines engage in more physical activity only when their wives offer thoughtful, supportive health-related comments. That said, never rely too much on your partner’s thoughts or comments for your fitness goals as it can reduce your own efforts and create a bit of discomfort in your flexibility.
A learning experience
Not only is exercising with your partner incredibly fun and a way for you both to engage and learn more about each other, but it is the best way to help you both gain a better understanding of one another and the needs you might have. When done in moderation, a shared fitness routine has the power to solve any issue more effectively than a self-help book. Forcing you both to communicate and be supportive for one another through your goals, working out together shows you how to be there for each other with every guard of yours down. Mutual vulnerability is a remarkable way to improve a relationship, especially since much of it has to deal with trusting each other. Yet, if trust is damaged due to something like cheating, exercising together can be harder as one or both parties might be unmotivated and hinder communication throughout the process.