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Your Soul Mate Should Be Your Swole Mate

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18/03/2017 6:22 AM AEDT | Updated 18/03/2017 6:22 AM AEDT
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Please, save the benefits for the bedroom...

Working out on your own can be boring, attending a bootcamp often requires leaving your partner behind in a nice, warm bed, and gym classes can be repetitive.

But if you think there's no better alternative, think again.

There are many reasons why exercising with someone else holds so much appeal. But what about when your workout partner is your life partner too? What are the benefits to that, and why should we consider doing it?

Improved sex life and bond

According to health psychologist Marny Lishman, exercising together can improve more than just fitness. It can impact on your workouts in the bedroom too.

"The quality of your sex life is likely to improve because you have more endurance and an improved mood and quality of sleep," she said.

Lishman notes that when we exercise we get physiologically aroused as our heart beats faster, we blush, experience shortness of breath and shake. Subsequently, exercising can make you feel more romantic towards the person you are doing it with.

"Like exercise, the more sex you have, the more you want and this also improves your bonding as a couple," she said.

Increased motivation

Even the most motivated of us can sometimes struggle when it comes to exercise, but working out as a couple can give you the boost you need to get out of bed.

"Unlike trainers, a partner is aware of what's going on in your life, so may have more empathy when motivation is low," said Lishman. "However, they may also push you more and harder because they know what is driving your fitness goals"

But motivation to be healthy doesn't just stop with exercise. It also extends to lifestyle changes.

"Adopting lifestyle changes together with your partner makes things easier and increases the likelihood of healthy habits being maintained."

Increased accountability

Personal trainer and author Leanne Hall knows the benefits of being accountable to an exercise partner, particularly when it's your other half.

"Our partners are more emotionally invested in us and we care a hell of a lot what they think," she said. "Because of this, we feel more accountable to follow through with what we promise."

Accountability to our partner also means that, when we feel like giving up, we can rely on them to encourage us to keep going.

"When exercising on your own, it's easy to get distracted and lose sight of what we want," Hall said. "However, when our partner is with us, it's easier to externalise, and focus on the end result and achieving our goals."

Increased happiness

Hall said that as long as you're not in a competitive relationship, working out together and supporting each other can improve your happiness levels.

"Communicating effectively can definitely increase energy and happiness because, not only are you achieving your own goals, you're also sharing in your partner's achievements," she said.

Through the sharing of a common interest and celebration of goals, couples can feel more connected. Focusing on your partner in a workout can also remind you of your attraction to them. Enforcing a positive relationship with your partner can have profound effects on your mental wellbeing.

Always having a spotter

Depending on the type of exercise, a spotter is important. However, Hall notes that equally important is knowing the correct technique and never compromising form or technique over weight.

"A spotter can take the weight if you're struggling, hence preventing injury," she said.

"Typically your partner knows you better than anyone, and so they know when to step in. They also know when to let you be and offer encouragement instead."

Tips for working out together

  • Keep a balance between working out by yourself and with your partner
  • Ensure you still do physical activities independently so you have your own time as well
  • Make sure both of you have talked through the 'why' of making these lifestyle changes, so when one partner is not feeling motivated, the other partner can help spur them on
  • Don't feel pressured to reach the same fitness goals or like the exact same workouts
  • Remember you're not competing with each other
  • Set the ground rules before you start training -- note what's helpful and what's not
  • Rewards work! If things get tough, make sure you reward each other at the end (particularly if it's in the bedroom!)

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