5 great physical exercises which can help your relationship
We are all aware of the benefits of proper exercise for our physical and mental health. There’s less discussion on how exercise, fitness and sports can also benefit our relationships with our partners and significant others. For example, studies have shown that married couples who exercise together are more likely to be satisfied in their relationship. There are several reasons for this.
Increase your emotional bond
Working out with a partner creates a context where you can co-ordinate your actions together. Nonverbal mimicking increases the feeling that you’re emotionally attuned to one another’s moods and movements. It helps create the feeling that you’re strengthening your emotional bond.
Incentivises you to reach your fitness goals
Sharing in the ups and downs of an exercise regime can incentivise a couple to positively re-enforce each other. It can increase their chance of realising their fitness goals.
Exercise heightens feelings of physiological arousal e.g. a heightened pulse, sweat and shortness of breath. These symptoms are also thought to mirror the symptoms of physical arousal, thereby heightening romantic attraction.
Increased efficiency in your workouts
The presence of a loved one or significant other in your workout regime can help to increase the efficiency of physical exercise. It can also establish a healthy pattern of mutual commitment.
There are any number of sports, fitness exercises and activities which lend themselves to being enjoyed with a partner. Here are just a few of the firm favourites below.
Tennis is a great competitive sport to play with a partner if you can find some doubles partners. It’s one to consider if you’re a couple looking to make some new friends. It can also make your fitness regime as sociable as possible. If tennis isn’t your thing maybe try badminton in the winter.
Most people see yoga as an activity which is designed to be enjoyed in solitude. After all, it’s based on the idea of being aware of your body, and aware of your thoughts. However, taking part in yoga with a partner can have a number of health benefits, and can help strengthen the bond in your relationship, improve levels of trust & communication; it encourages couples to work together on common goals, and pay attention to each other in the moment.
Avid cyclists swear by couples’ cycling as a means of both improving fitness and giving you some quality time. Cycling once again involves working towards a common goal. It can play a role in working off any tensions between you and your partner. Cycling can also be a cheap means of getting regular exercise, as any couple is sure to save on both gym fees and petrol costs! Finally, cycling an incentivise couples to do more travelling together.
Some More Ideas To Consider:
Like cycling, climbing is a relatively gender-neutral activity which can enjoyed as part of a couple. Once again, it encourages both you and your partner to get outside in the outdoors and see lots of different vistas. Like the other activities we’ve listed, it gives couples a chance to work on shared goals together. There are a number of different types of climbing activities all of which have their own unique benefits for couples who wish to participate.
Bouldering – this is often thought of as a solitary exercise, but it’s great to have someone to talk to while you do it.
Top-roping – one person climbs whilst the other person stands at the bottom and holds the rope – this is a great activity for building trust.
Lead-climbing – you both climb, but one person stays at the back and belays (keeps pressure on the rope and holds it in place). Again, it’s great for trust and co-ordination purposes.
Dancing is a great example of moderate to strenuous exercise which can encourage a couple to reconnect, socialise and try something brand new. It also covers a broad range of types, techniques and traditions, so you’re spoilt for choice. Some of the benefits of dancing as an activity include:
- As we discussed at the beginning of the article, physical activity/exercise can generate the same physiological responses as sexual attraction, and that’s especially true of dancing. Dancing is great for promoting sexual attraction and physical intimacy.
- It encourages you to work on verbal and non-verbal communication and is great for co-ordination and team-work.
- It can be a great boost to self-confidence, which in turn can really help your ability to connect, and your emotional articulacy with your partner.
Couples Help is a couples therapy and counselling service in Johannesburg. Their blog can be found at coupleshelp.co.za
Louis Venter, Founder, Couples Help – For the last nine years, I have been practicing as a marriage counselor and therapist, and it has been my greatest joy to see countless marriages and “impossible” situations restored to childlike wholeness. http://coupleshelp.co.za/blog