Working Out Together: Yay or Nay?
Getting your sweat on and burning calories together, what could possibly go wrong when a couple decides to workout with one another? The intention behind the idea sounds good: engaging in a shared activity that the two of you can bond over. But not so fast, before making the decision to commit to working out with your significant other, considering the following:
► Keeping up motivation to workout isn’t easy. Motivation tends to wane once workouts become especially challenging. Having your partner to hold you accountable for your workouts and provide a boost to your motivation levels will make you less likely to skip the gym.
► Using words of affirmation (“You’re getting stronger, you’re reaching your goals”) and encouraging your partner during a workout can increase your bond. Think about this: you can be right beside your partner and cheering them on as you witness them reaching shared fitness goals.
► Exercising provides a surge of endorphins which improves your mood. What better way to improve your relationship than by improving your individual moods. Not to mention, working out leads to increased longevity and better heart health. More life to live and more time to spend with your favorite person!
► Going to the gym can be a form of self-care, something that allows you to separate yourself from other parts of your life and focus entirely on yourself. Some people look forward to their gym sesh as their one and only “me time” during the day.
► Once you commit to a particular exercise or regimen, it might be difficult to change it up without trying to get your partner’s approval first. Let’s say you want to be adventurous and try out a HIIT class but your partner isn’t as keen on the idea, do you give it up entirely? Some people are far more adventurous at the gym while others tend to stick to a basic routine. Should you have to compromise what exercises you do for your partner? If my partner were to choose our fitness routine it would always be running and bench presses. I’d much prefer Pilates and elliptical on any given day.
► Couples do not always start at the same fitness level and it can be demoralizing to have to see your partner doing better or worse than you. Of course, it’s not a competition, though some couples do get competitive to an unhealthy degree. A fit partner may feel like they have to decrease the intensity of their workout to match the intensity of the less fit partner. Or the less fit partner may feel pressured to workout at the same intensity as the fit partner instead of gradually working up to it.
“Health is wealth”, a mantra Jessica’s mother regularly repeated throughout her childhood. Jessica values achieving balance and wholeness in both arenas of mental and physical health. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a practicing mental health therapist, Jessica promotes healthy living, self-care, mindfulness, and above all, kindness towards self.