the couple that works out together, stays together


There are so many articles that I've read that stress the benefits of a regular sweat sesh that go way beyond what you see on the outside. I'm talking about treating depression, learning faster and retaining information longer, decreasing the risk of dementia and Alzheimers, heart disease.... I could go on and on. Turns out that in addition to that, you and your sweetie could be happier together for longer. Here are some of the ways that working out together can help your relationship:

1. You're happier with the relationship itself- Studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000). It’s the physiological arousal, rather than the novelty or challenge of the activity, that drives romantic attraction (Lewandowski, & Aron, 2004). This suggests that sharing a fitness goal (such as training for a 5K or triathlon), taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship.

2.  Your honey will fall even more in love- Oh la la!! Exercise induces the symptoms of physiological arousal—sweaty hands, a racing pulse, shortness of breath. These symptoms mirror, in many ways, the thrill of romantic attraction. Interestingly, people can easily mistake the two and misattribute physical arousal for romantic attraction (Dutton & Aron, 1974).

3. Your emotional bond will increase- When you work out together, you create a context in which you can coordinate your actions. For example, you might lift weights in rhythm with your partner, match your own walking or running pace with his or hers, or toss medicine balls back and forth. Such behavior creates nonverbal matching, or mimicry, which benefits you both (Stel & Vonk, 2010). Nonverbal mimicry helps people feel emotionally attuned with one another, and those who experience or engage in it tend to report greater feelings of having “bonded” with their partner. Exercising together provides an opportunity to create such connection, benefiting both your health and your relationship.

There's also some benefits to you yourself!

1. You'll achieve your workout goals! - When partners care about fitness—their own and their partner’s—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 (Skoyen, Blank, Corkery, & Butler, 2013). One cautionary note: Don't rely too heavily (or exclusively) on your partner when it comes to your own fitness goals. "Outsourcing” the mental effort required to complete fitness goals can reduce your own effort (Fitzsimons & Finkel, 2011).

2. You may work a little harder - A long-standing concept in social psychology is that the mere presence of someone else affects your ability to do an activity (Zajonc, 1965). Even if you already feel competent doing a particular exercise, bringing along your romantic partner may be a fantastic way to boost your energy output. Your partner’s presence will improve your speed, without you necessarily being aware of their influence (Bond & Titus, 1983).

Source: Psycology Today

Andrei and I out for a run on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. We have a mini-Chicago-bean!!  Andrei and I out for a run on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. We have a mini-Chicago-bean!!

So grab that special someone, and hit the trails, go to the gym, sign up for a class,  or register for a run!

Andrei and I regularly run together on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, or he will take a class from me at Hilliard Studio Method, or we'll go together and hit the megaformers at HSM|Core. We also take dance workshops, and try and hit the dance floor at LEAST every weekend!