Couples Therapy: How Training Together Can Strengthen Your Relationship

I used to roll my eyes at the perfectly coordinated couples running in pace with one-another and spotting each other on the bench—ew.

But, I have something to admit. I have been training with my guy for close to two months now. We aren’t your stereotypical Gym Barbie and Ken (thats for sure) but working out together seems to be helping our relationship. We’ve always had common goals and interests, but training together put things into a new perspective for the both of us.

It’s not all easy. Sometimes we bicker, and yes I’m really nitpicky (hypercritical) sometimes—he loves a good greasy pizza and I’m dairy-free. Despite our grocery-list differences and the obstacles we encounter, we have ultimately learned to work together, and our relationship is stronger because of it.

Set Goals

Working toward a common goal can bring the two of you closer. Sit down together and make a list of all of the things that you wish to accomplish. Do you want to lose weight? Write it down. Considering a marathon? Write that down too. After the two of you have compiled your list, pick three items that mean to most to the both of you. Turn your goals into reality by outlining the steps you will take to meet your objective. Can your goal be accomplished in a matter of weeks? Months? How about a year? Discuss a timeline and decide when you want to meet your goal.

Work Together

Now that you have set your fitness goals as a couple, you’re ready to tackle your goals head-on. The daily grind can be stressful, but there is no excuse to skip-out on a training day. Did you have a bad day at work? Over indulge on your favorite sweet treat? You’ll feel better after you log a few miles on the treadmill. Create a fitness routine that works for both of your schedules and determine what time of the day will work best for the both of you. Is he an early riser? Do you hit the snooze button? Consider a compromise and split your routine down the middle, half of the week’s workouts can be in the morning, half in the evening.

Encourage Each Other

Training can bring out the best, or the worst in your partner. If your partner prefers to be left alone, let them zone-out and maximize their focus. If you sense that your partner is struggling, offer words of encouragement.

Ask your partner to challenge you in your workouts. See just how far you can go and compete with your partner. More reps, faster, more miles, push! He might be able to bench press more than you, but you’re the one that can run a further distance. Get to know your partner’s strengths and weaknesses, call them out when you know they can do better and offer motivation when they’re straining. Hold each other accountable, there is nothing worse than a wasted workout.

Sometimes it’s best if you wait until after a training session to show your admiration. Speak from the heart and let your better-half know just how proud you are of them for taking the steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A few kind words go a long way.

Share the Lifestyle

Break away from boring and adopt a lifestyle full of adventure, learning and fitness. Find new ways to get your workout in, like taking a hike at a local preserve, cycling through the city or kayaking on the river. Fitness adventures like these allow the two of you to depend on each other, creating a trust and a bond like no other. Plus, couples who share a fit lifestyle experience happier relationships, according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Improve Your Sex Life

Who knew hitting the gym could elevate what happens behind closed doors? I’m sure that you have heard about sex-drive boosting foods, but try this instead. Activities like deadlifts, push-ups, torso bends and twists, and abdominal exercises can boost your sex drive, notes exercise physiologist Rich Weil. Exercise also induces the symptoms of physical arousal—think sweaty palms, racing pulse and shortness of breath. Working out with your partner can boost your attractiveness, according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. So don’t be afraid to get sweaty together.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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