You’re soul mates — insert sarcastic “aw!” here — so why not be exercise buddies, too? It sounds like a good idea on paper. In fact, studies suggest that couples who work out together are more likely to stick with their fitness program, lose weight faster and even have more sex! Sounds like a win — but take heed. Your better half is not always the ideal workout buddy. Before you recruit your significant other, be sure to go through this checklist:
Think about what you want to achieve together (short-term and long-term), and write down your goals. Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Train for a half-marathon? Make sure to review them frequently to stay on track.
Just because your goals are a little different does not mean you can’t still support each other. “Simply going to the gym together — even if one of you takes a class and the other hits a treadmill — will still give you the benefits of accountability, motivation, time spent together and better fitness,” Nicole Nichols, certified fitness instructor and fitness coach for SparkPeople.com, told Lifescript.com.
Make sure you both find the right time to work out. Sit down with a calendar and plan the perfect days and times so you fall into a normal fitness routine. Have a backup plan in case one of you can’t make a workout. Constantly bailing on one another will lead to an unhappy partner and an unused gym membership. If you need to cancel, you better have a good reason.
“It is crucial to agree on what constitutes a valid reason for canceling a workout,” Jeanette DePatie, a fitness instructor and author of “The Fat Chick Works Out!” told Psychology Today. “If one of you will show up even if it means finding a babysitter for your sick toddler, and one of you bails because of a bad hair day, your [workout] relationship is doomed.”
You like yoga; he likes contact kickboxing. If you want to work out together, be ready to compromise and try new forms of physical activity.
If you said yes to the questions above, you and your honey are on the right track to becoming an ideal workout buddy for each other. Check out these couples workouts by the Idea Health & Fitness Association to get you started.
If your answers were all no’s, you may need to rethink your exercise strategy. Once the “honeymoon phase” wears out on your couple fitness routine, your workout may not be the only thing that ends up in the doghouse. Learn more about choosing the best workout buddy.
If you decide to skip the buddy system and go solo, don’t make a “workout widow” out of your partner. Balancing an intimate relationship with fitness, family and a career are tough but necessary for a fulfilling life.
Tell us: Do you work out with your better half?