They say “weights not dates,” but why not both? Turns out, having a swole-mate can help make you stronger – in more ways than one.
Research shows couples who lift together say they’re happier and healthier. A study by Decathlon found 43 percent of couples who work out together report it has helped their relationship, thanks to having more quality time together, a shared interest, and reduced stress (and along with that, fewer fights). Yup, people who exercise – even just a little bit -- tend to feel calmer and more positive. And they actually like their partner more on the days the exercise together. Exercising with your boo can help reignite passion in your relationship.
Psychology Today echoes all this, saying couples who exercise together report better moods and increased relationship satisfaction.
It’s basically a secret ingredient for a good relationship.
And having a swole-mate can make you stronger, too – as an individual. Working out with your significant other can make exercise more fun, and therefore easier for you to keep doing. The social support of your gym crush helps you develop your own internal motivation to keep exercising even on your own. And research finds it can even help you push yourself harder than just exercising alone.
OK, one more bonus to consider: Working out together can improve your sex life. As if you need any more reasons.
Tips for Working out With Your Significant Other
- Create a plan. Schedule your workout time together and plan ahead what you will be doing.
- If you are going from working out alone to working out with someone, be adaptable and compromise. You may need to switch some things up, like the time of day, exercises, or your warm-up/cool-down ritual. One person will likely lift slower than the other. Plan to work out together, yet also respect each other’s wishes and differences.
- If you have a similar fitness level, enroll in classes or challenges together. Explore partner yoga, boot camp classes, partner dancing, hiking, rock climbing, cycling, or a co-ed fitness challenge. Tough Mudder, anyone?
- Enroll in small-group or personal training together. This allows you to both have personalized training and save money.
- If you have kids, a home gym makes it convenient to train together without having to worry about childcare.
- Stay flexible and open minded. A partner with different interests and ideas will inevitably bring new experiences into your life. Try it before you knock it.
- Practice respect and good boundaries. Even if you have more experience, don’t play personal trainer all the time. Let them go at their own pace. Offering too much “help” can be intimidating (and annoying). Don’t be too critical.
- Encourage each other. Be nice and supportive. This is supposed to be a fun time together.
- On that note, working out with a partner can push you harder – but don’t get so competitive that it damages your relationship. Don’t compare progress and abilities.
- Be there to spot each other on heavy lifts. Make sure you know how they like to be spotted, too.
Gifts for Your Gym Partner
Another benefit of lifting with your lover is that it makes it easy to shop for them. Here are some fitness-related gifts that we would definitely consider romantic.
1. Pink or red Ab Support Mat
Awe, Valentine’s Day colors. Surely, there’s a thoughtful pun here about supporting each other and how ab support mats are a symbol of that.
2. RapidStrike Massage Gun
Instead of getting them a massage, get them a massage on demand whenever they want it with this fantastic massage gun.
Make it official. Get down on one knee and ask, “Will you spot me?” OK, maybe don’t do that, unless you're tying your shoes.
4. A new hoody
If she’s always stealing your hoodies, buy this one and conveniently leave it out for her to “steal” on purpose. Everyone knows a hoody yoinked from your man feels better to wear than one you buy yourself. This is pure science.
5. A ring (or two)
The love of your life said they wanted a ring, right? For sure they meant Gymnastic Rings. So put a ring on it. (It = the garage gym.)