Couples who exercise enjoy greater benefits than those who go it alone
Most people recognize the overwhelming health benefits of regular exercise, but finding the motivation can often be difficult. However, couples who push each other to get off the couch may not only be more likely to hop on their used treadmill or head to the gym, they may also enjoy an improved relationship and better health.
Some of the most compelling evidence of exercising as a couple comes from a recent study from Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Researchers found that married partners who joined a gym together, rather than separately, were more likely to stay committed to exercising regularly. In fact, during the course of one year, just 6.3 percent of couples stopped following their routines. Conversely, 43 percent of those who joined a gym separately stopped going.
Greater benefits for two?
Couples who exercise together enjoy benefits other than a strengthened sense of commitment to working out. In fact, they may find they perform better than if they had been on a run by themselves or on a solo walk. In fact, a Michigan State University study found that when a person was paired with someone who was at a slightly higher fitness level than they were, they tended to work harder and experienced greater improvements in their strength and stamina. Of course, there are also the conventional health benefits of exercise, ranging from a stress relief to an improved cardiovascular function.
Benefits extend beyond health
Not only will being more committed to exercise help couples stay healthy together, it can also strengthen relationships, according to YouBeauty.com. Experts say things like setting common goals and enjoying the stress reducing benefits of exercise will help couples communicate better.
"When a couple works out together, the actual exercise itself can physically and emotionally have a positive impact," relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer told the website. "Both partners come away with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and shared passion."
Think outside the gym
While there is ample evidence highlighting the benefits of working out as a couple, some people may be at a loss as to what type of physical activity is best for them. Aside from joining a gym together, there are a wide variety of organized sports for couples to choose from, whether they want to bust out their used soccer equipment or strap on their used hockey skates.