Turn your life partner into your workout partner
Exercising with your partner is great – it’s an opportunity to spend quality time together, doing something that’s good for both of you. To make it work successfully, there are a few things to consider before you jump in, depending on your current lifestyle and how much activity you’re already doing.
- If you’re both new to exercise, or haven’t been active for a while, choose an activity that you’ll both enjoy and where you’re at a similar level. It’s not about trying to outdo each other – it’s about keeping it fun and effective.
- If you’re already quite active, and want your partner to join you, you’ll have more success if you consider their needs more than your own, when you’re choosing an activity. And remember to go easy on the unsolicited exercise advice – your partner probably isn’t looking for you to become their personal trainer.
- If you have very different ideas about the type of exercise you enjoy doing – for example one of you prefers cardio, and one of you prefers to work out with weights – compromise by trying something that combines the two, like circuit training. Or do one activity one session, and the other the next.
- Try to match your personality and interests as a couple to your chosen activity. For example, if you enjoy being social together, try playing a social team sport. But, if you’re in desperate need of some alone time together, you might find rowing or hiking together more suitable.
And don’t forget that, as well as planning ways to enjoy some ‘scheduled’ activity together, making the effort to squeeze more exercise into your lifestyle as a couple is a smart move too, because every little bit of activity counts. Here are a few ideas:
- If you both commute to work at the same time, leave earlier so you can walk some of the way.
- Do some active chores together on the weekend, like gardening or hand washing the car.
- Swap sedentary downtime together, like watching Netflix, with some activities that get you moving, like bike riding.
- Instead of driving to the local shops or when you’re going out for a meal, leave the car at home and walk there together.
The benefits, for both of you, could be more than just physical. As well as strengthening your muscles and improving your fitness, your mental health and wellbeing and your relationship might just grow stronger, too.