Exercising as a couple will improve your relationship

If a couple mutually agrees to keep their physical health in check, their relationship benefits.

If a couple mutually agrees to keep their physical health in check, their relationship benefits.

What you need to know:

  • Losing weight may not bear ripe fruits for your relationship if only one partner loses weight.
  • A couple that exercises together is more likely to enjoy better sexual intimacy.
  • Couples who jointly work out or jointly take part in an activity often report more satisfaction in their relationships and being more in love with their partners.

Both of you were physically attractive when you first met. He was handsome, with a well-toned body, while your physical looks were to die for. In fact, the physical attributes are what initially attracted you to each other. But since you committed to a long-term relationship or marriage, things have not been the same. On one hand, you have worked hard to maintain your weight and keep fit. However, your partner has neglected their physical looks. They have gained too much weight due to over-indulgence, and they don’t seem bothered.  

According to Dr. Jane Greer, a marriage therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, couples who maintain their weight or keep fit together have feelings of synchronicity, a cooperative spirit, and shared passion. “When a couple works out together, the exercise has a positive physical and emotional impact,” she says. Sweating it together is also a good way to reduce stress in a relationship while building better communication and common goals.

Intimacy and emotional bond

Maintaining physical fitness will be a plus for your sex life. “It alleviates stress and gives you more energy; you feel better about yourself, and your self-esteem grows,” she says.  By working out together or having the same physical fitness goals, couples create a context within which they are able to coordinate their mutual conscious and sub-conscious actions through mimicry of one another. “The nonverbal matching and mimicry that comes out of such exercises help people feel emotionally attuned with one another, and those who experience or engage in it report greater feelings of having bonded with their partners.”

The bedroom boost

A couple that exercises together is more likely to enjoy better sexual intimacy. For instance, a man who is overweight will have their testosterone up simply by losing excess weight. According to a study by St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Ireland which was presented to the Endocrine Society, exercising 2.5 hours a week can boost your testosterone by up to 15 percent and decrease hypogonadism by 46 percent in men. Hypogonadism is the condition associated with poor testosterone and erectile dysfunction. It occurs when sex glands called gonads produce little if any, sex hormones. In women, a vigorous 20-minute exercise is enough to boost sexual arousal. During the exercise, hormones, neurotransmitters, and the autonomic nervous system raise and sustains levels of an enzyme that increases blood flow to the genitals.

Losing weight

Losing weight may not bear ripe fruits for your relationship if only one partner loses weight. According to a research study on weight loss in relationships conducted by North Carolina State University and the University of Texas, the relationship may take a turn for better or worse depending on how the couple has been relating and communicating over their weight concerns. “Lifestyle changes such as losing weight may tip the scale of romantic relationship downward or upward. If a couple mutually agrees to keep their physical health in check, their relationship benefits, but resistance to this may trigger a series of issues that could lead to a break-up,” said Lynsey Romo who was the lead researcher in the study.

Reigniting the fire

Psychologist Patrick Musau says working out together may be the match stick that will reignite your fire. “Making a deliberate commitment to work out together may be the trick that will bring you closer together again. You could turn your work-outs sessions to dates, and use the time you spend together to put your relationship back on the right path,” he says. “However, do not turn it into a competition where one partner is in a hurry to lose weight and leave the other behind.” His sentiments are echoed by psychologist Ken Munyua who adds that couples who jointly work out  or jointly take part in an activity often report more satisfaction in their relationships and being more in love with their partners than those who don’t.

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