Research shows that there are benefits of exercising with your Partner
Even with different fitness levels and goals, it's good to exercise together.
- Safety. With someone else watching they can help with form and being there to spot you when you need it, you’ll exercise more safely than if you were alone. If you're exercising outside you have a minder on dark winter evenings!
- Quality time. With long working hours and family responsibilities couples spend a lot of time apart. By arranging to workout/exercise together you can spend more time together.
- A common interest. It's good to have some common interests - not just your favourite TV programme.
- Motivation and support. Encouragement and praise from your partner is a great motivator.
- A deeper bond. Exercise produces chemicals in the brain that evoke feelings of happiness, reduce stress, and also increase arousal and libido. Several studies show that men and women who exercise regularly report better (and more frequent) sex with their partners.
- Balance. In many couples, one partner tends to favor cardio (typically women) while the other tends to favor strength training (typically men). By working out together you can balance your workout program to include more of both. Let your partner teach you about the areas of fitness you’re unsure of and be open to new fitness experiences.
In the past I hated working out or exercising with my lovely hubby. Many years ago (I can't remember how long ago now but it was after daughter was born so let's say 15 at least) I won a couple's membership for a new David Lloyd gym which was opening in Brighton. We only actually went together a couple of times - one was a spur of the moment visit when I was at work and he was on a day off. He rang me at work and told me to get the bus down to the Marina and he'd meet me there - he'd got all my kit. Imagine my surprise when we'd finished in the gym and headed to the pool for a relaxing swim, jacuzzi and steam room to find that he'd actually picked up knickers and a bra instead of a my bikini! We laugh about it now, but at the time I was mortified - luckily no-one else was in there that day!
Going to the gym is my "me-time" as is running - a time to think about things without someone asking where their shirt is or what's for tea!
I've always tried to include him in my running training. He's very good at sorting out running routes and is a good photographer at events and doesn't mind carrying a bag or two. He's also very supportive during events and encouraging - at Bedgebury Trailblazer last year he popped up when I wasn't expecting to see anyone and ran a little way with me, changing over water bottles & feeding me, and then giving me a big kiss as I left him behind !
Now we're finding we're on our own more he wants to start cycling together - which is fine by me so long as I'm not going to get shouted at all the time about changing gear or sitting properly, or pedaling correctly. In previous years when all I've had was a heavy mountain bike there has been near divorce as he's much stronger and fitter than me on a bike and liked to whizz off into the distance leaving me to plod my own way, coming back every so often to check I was still going forwards. Up until now cycling has been his "me-time" and I am going to encourage him to go out on his own, after all he has sportives to train for and I don't - at the moment! Now I've got my new road bike I'm feeling a little competitive, especially as I'm not running at the moment.
So over to you, do you exercise with your other half - or is it a big no-no? Come and join in the discussion at Run With An Idea.