Exercising by oneself is not for everyone, especially if your other half is lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand while you are trying to up the miles on the treadmill.
There are, though, benefits to couples who exercise together, as found by researchers from the University of Aberdeen. They investigated if an exercise partner would increase the amount of exercise we do. Not surprisingly, it does.
Dr. Rackow and her team also found emotional support to play a significant role in the amount of exercise we do. She says: “Once we found that having a new exercise companion increases exercise frequency, we wanted to find out why this is beneficial and what quality of support they offer that has this effect. Our results showed that the emotional, social support from the new sports companion was the most effective. Thus, it is more important to encourage each other than doing the actual activity together.”1
Awesome! Feeling more inspired to take on fitness with your partner? Here’s but a short list of the few things that both of you can do together:
- Dancing – Rio Here We Come!
Almost everywhere (except possibly in the dessert…) you will find a club, dance hall or party where you can dance the night away. Great for romance and great for the calories!
- Walking / Hiking
Whether you are walking to the furthest end of the parking lot at the mall, or hiking up to Machu Picchu, these are both quick and easy, low-cost activities to do together.
- Live-Action Role Play (LARP)
Jip! Believe it or not, but LARP is a great way of shedding those extra kilos. As the title indicates, LARP involves role-playing whereby you and your partner get all dressed up in costumes, weaponry, or whatever is required for your character. Join others and run around acting out your role.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator can get the blood pumping, lugging your enormous suitcase up while doing this, more so. Twist your significant others arm the next time to see who can get to the top first. The loser to sponsor a dinner might be a tantalizing motivator.
- Play A Sport Together
There are over 8,000 indigenous types of sports in the world, with most of them playable by couples. Try anything from tennis, squash, table tennis, darts, athletics, baseball, football, chess, archery, kickball, skiing, scuba diving, or even clay shooting with your partner. (A bonus? Playing a sport adds to your social circle.)
You don’t only need to cycle through Holland to watch the flowers. Cycling has evolved into something a lot more people do these days. To cut out quarrel, maybe opt for individual bikes instead of tandem cycling. Most places have lovely parks with areas suitable for cycling. Just make sure to wear helmets – safety is paramount. Also, cycle in reputable areas known for their safety aspect.
- Fitness Classes
Whether you want to Zumba, yoga, or go spinning, there is a fitness class to suit every taste. A lot of holiday resorts or even cruise liners have excellent exercise classes that can be booked and attended; even without a full gym membership.
- For the Mind & Body
Running your business been stressful of late? Try some Yoga or Pilates together; both are excellent types of exercise for body and mind.
- Paintball and/or Adventure (PT) Challenge
Give your exercise routine a boost by opting for something a little different once in a while. Head to a paintball field with your significant other or participate in a challenging morning of PT at an outdoor PT adventure course.
- The Trusty Gym
Nothing wrong with going to the gym together. Just make sure you don’t try too hard trying to impress each other that you end up hurting yourself.
- Tour Excursion
While traveling, many excursions have an exercise element attached to it. Example, take on a 5-day walking tour of the Great Wall of China, go on a scuba diving shipwreck excursion, or opt for something adventurous such as a dog-sledding trip to a glacier in Alaska.
There is no doubt about it! Exercise is excellent for body and soul. Have fun!
1Pamela Rackow, Urte Scholz, Rainer Hornung. Received Social Support And Exercising: An Intervention Study To Test The Enabling Hypothesis. British Journal of Health Psychology, 2015; 20 (4): 763 DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12139