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Special Issues & Guides » The Love Issue

The Key to Long-term Love

Couples Who Sweat Together



Before you met "the one" and coupled up, there's a good chance you spent your days munching on greens and hitting the gym so you would look your best when you bumped into your true love. Now that your nights have gone from hitting the clubs to cuddling on the couch, maybe you've both noticed that your pants are getting tighter and climbing the stairs to bed is harder (and perhaps a little less passionate).

Being in love doesn't mean your health has to go by the wayside; in fact, personal trainer, CrossFit coach and acupuncturist Almine Barton says working out with your significant other improves your relationship as well as your health.

If the quickly approaching swimsuit season isn't enough to motivate you and your mate, consider the following benefits exercising as a team has to offer your relationship.

Then get up off the couch and get started.

Trust Building

Trust is key to any successful relationship. Most partner workouts and physical activities require some level of faith in each other. At bare minimum you have to trust your partner to show up, support you and hold you accountable each day, but some activities not only demand more confidence, they help build it. Barton says, "Some good examples of physical activities that require and build trust include rock climbing—where you literally have each other's lives in one another's hands—and lifting heavy weights together. If you are spotting heavy weights for one another, there's a lot of trust required when that heavy bar is hovering above your head."

Improved Communication

Embarking on a new fitness adventure as a couple requires solid communication skills. Agreeing on activities, planning workouts and deciding on meals together means talking through different wants and needs, coming to agreements and figuring out how to best schedule your time. This might be difficult at first, but the process will help you find new communication tools, like a shared online calendar, and build better communication skills.

Beyond dealing with the daily details, trying out physical activities such as dancing, rock climbing and partner yoga can help you learn a lot about your significant other. All of these activities and many others require both verbal and physical communication, which can bring you even closer to your loved one.

Shared Goals

It's likely that part of what brought you and your partner together was discovering you had shared interests. Creating shared goals is an extension of that element of your relationship. Barton says, "Shared goals are important for couples. Keeping one another healthy, accountable and on track shows commitment to each other's well-being."

Setting and reaching the goals you have agreed on as a couple is both a satisfying and bonding experience, especially when your accomplishments lead to looking and feeling better. Consider committing to training for a 5K or a half marathon together. There are a plethora of running, biking and obstacle races that you can set your sights on and support each other through. Once you've earned your medal, you can celebrate with a romantic night out together.

Better Sex

If there's one benefit that should catch your attention, it's this one. Solid communication and trust are two elements that are guaranteed to improve your sex life, but implementing a regular fitness routine offers your relationship something that can be even more impactful in the bedroom: improved self-esteem.

Barton says, "Couples who work out together are happier with how their bodies look, have higher self-esteem and confidence and enjoy showing off their gains in the bedroom." Good sex can also lead to a long-term libido boost for both of you, and will help make your relationship extra enjoyable for the long run.

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