What better way to say I love you, I care about you and that I want to spend time with you than finding a fun activity that both you and your partner enjoy. In addition to date night, why not set some workout dates. Not only will you be attending to your fitness, but you’ll be encouraging one another to stay healthy all while spending quality time together. If those aren’t enough, here are a few more reasons for bonding while building better bodies.
Investing In Your Relationship
“It’s nice to just spend time together doing something you enjoy,” says Health and Wellness coach, Charlene Cahen. “So laugh and have fun. Look at it as one way you can invest in yourself and spend what precious time you have together.”
Exercise has the ability to connect you on a more personal level when both people are enjoying themselves. Whereas some activities naturally bring two people together like dancing, fencing, tennis and badminton, other activities forge a deeper bond as you learn and teach one another. Horseback riding, bowling, archery, scuba diving, skiing and cycling can not only be shared, but can lay the foundation for other related activities including preparatory weight training, competing in challenges or shopping for equipment together.
Selecting an adventurous activity may be a way for you to bond while sharing an adventure. Scuba diving, skydiving, surfing, martial arts and base-jumping all require some forethought, planning as well as developing a level of fitness prior to trial. Setting aside time together to prepare, train and participate provides an opportunity for fun dialogue, dream sharing and motivational support, and it naturally heightens anticipation of experimenting in a new adventure together.
Making Precious Time Count
There are also other factors that must be considered when carving out a fitness time such as busy professional lives, family schedules and varying peak energy hours.
“When our schedules don’t align we work out on our own then come back together when it’s convenient,” advises Charlene. “When life gets busy, you have to find that time within your own schedule to maintain your health. If we wait for that right moment to be together, we might not be able to get in the time to work out. Sometimes the longer you put it off, then your habits can change and you fall into being inactive.”
Whereas one person may prefer a morning activity, their partner may feel more energized in the evening. While every workout may not be together, you can easily find a few that sync with your diverse energy levels, motivation spikes and work schedules.
If finding time is an issue, don’t give up. There are many daily activities such as walking the dog, gardening, biking to the store and learning to dance for social events, which can be time-conscious, productive and more importantly, something you can do together while still getting a workout. If you’re not ready to commit hours each week to a new fitness regimen start with something that is readily available, requires less set-up and can be broken down into small time increments. Hiking, Frisbee, race walking, jogging, hula hooping and resistance training are just some of the activities that can be worked into a busy schedule.
Holding Each Other Accountable
“It’s great to have an accountability partner,” says Charlene. She and her husband work out together often, including running and walking in the park. “The benefits include someone pushing you and saying, ‘you can do this.’”
Despite the challenges, keep in mind that setting aside the time is just more than making a fitness commitment—it’s about committing to one another. Leave all your other issues out of the gym, that way this time spent together will be that much more powerful and productive. Safety, motivation, support, faster goal attainment, developing common interests and a reduction in stress are all proven benefits when couples work out together. The level of fitness when working out together is actually more enjoyable because couples can push each other and celebrate the results each day.
“I feel that if you can share the experience with your spouse or partner, there is a better chance of success,” says Charlene. “When your household gets healthy as a unit, it’s much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Kim Monaghan, PCC, RYT, CPBS is the owner of KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC, a boutique Human Resources Consulting and Career Coaching Firm serving a national clientele.