You see several variations on the sentiment that “couples who sweat together, stay together” in pithy quotes, rhymes, or hashtags. While the phrasing may seem pop-psychology at best, the underlying principle holds more water than you might think.
There’s a strong argument to be made for having your partner do dual duty as your workout buddy. The benefits range from the physical to the emotional, and reach further than you’d think. It’s more than a handy tip – training together can be a key relationship builder and maintainer.
Motivation to keep moving
Going to the gym is hard; so is lacing up those runners and hitting the pavement. Many struggle just doing planks during TV time. Whatever your health and fitness goals, you’re statistically more likely to have success reaching them if you involve someone else. However, we all know how easy it is to ghost on friends, make excuses on social media, and straight up dump our gym friends.
When your accountability partner is your actual partner, there’s no escape. They know exactly what you’ve committed to and are there to remind you. Plus, they know all the best tricks for getting you motivated.
Attractiveness and health
We can all get behind body positivity, right? It’s unhealthy to put expectations on your partner’s appearance (so just don’t), but it’s also a reality that we could all use a little more activity and a little less couch time in our lives, wherever we’re at. Whatever your size, more fitness equals relatively more toned parts, better endurance, and more energy. Plus, there’s that great glowy thing that happens to your skin when you’ve been working up a sweat. Training with your partner means that you get to appreciate their progress and your own at the same time.
There are also the long-term health implications of better fitness. There are some very good reasons for couples to care about and invest in their own and each other’s health by hitting the gym and eating clean. Lifestyle diseases cut into the time that you can spend appreciating one another, and in the worst case, can split you up permanently. Emotional health has been shown to be improved through increased fitness. You want your partner less depressed, overtired, stressed, and anxious, and more happy, contented, rested, and able to return affection – so let all those endorphins bring you together.
Bonding through investment
Working out together helps bring you closer. Yes, there are the endorphins, and all those happy brain chemicals give those around you an appealingly rosy glow. There’s also the feeling of connection that you get when you’ve gone through something challenging with another person. Struggling through an intense workout, circuit, or sports challenge with your partner gives you that sense of having gone through the trenches and overcome alongside them. It’s not simply a mind trick – they’ve just been by your side and supported you through something, showing real commitment to you.
Speaking of commitment, one of the things that relationships thrive on is intentional time spent together. It’s easy to fall out of love or forget why you’ve chosen to be with your partner if you don’t spend time with them. With all the things that you have to get done in your day, it’s often hard to set aside couple time on a regular basis. Making fitness one of your togetherness activities integrates your health with your relationship and helps you invest in both at the same time.
Safety and support
Your partner is probably the person who knows you best. When it comes to workouts, they’re there to push you, but they also know your limits. They’re aware of past injuries and weakness, but they also know when you’re going easy on yourself and need to be challenged more.
Plus, you’ll never run out of gift-giving ideas for those challenging holidays. Old knee injury? Get him compression knee sleeves, available from Tommie Copper. She’s struggling at the bars? Try a wrist wrap or palm grips. When you’re working out with your partner, you can go all out because they’re there to support you. You can’t get away with slacking – they’ve got you covered, and know all your tricks.
Couples who train together stay together because they’re regularly investing in their relationship, building their connection, investing in their own and each other’s health, and supporting each other in concrete, practical ways. And they’ll be at it a while – that investment in fitness contributes to longer, healthier lifespans.