Improve your relationship at the gym?
One of the best ways to improve your mood is to work out. Exercise releases endorphins to the brain and helps to relieve stress and pain.
So why not work out with the one you love? Experts say it may actually improve the relationship with your significant other, and some even compare the benefits of exercise to couple’s counseling.
Which is more beneficial? The answer is: it depends.
Exercising together can keep each partner accountable and motivated to continue working out, which is a healthy lifestyle for both parties. For some individuals, it may be hard to get to the gym alone. They may prefer to sleep in or hang out at home. But if you and your partner are interested in working out together, it can benefit both individuals not only physically, but by increasing the bond you have with each other.
“While it might not replace couple’s therapy, exercising together can help build a solid foundation for a healthy relationship,” says Marie Mauter, a licensed clinical social worker and an employee assistance program counselor at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “Working out with your significant other is a great way to help strengthen a couple’s bond. It can help partners feel more grounded and positive about their relationship.”
But, don’t expect working out together to completely resolve all issues. “It might not always be easy, and it depends on the severity of issues that a couple is experiencing. If problems seem to continue or worsen, the need for additional therapeutic support should be considered” says Mauter.
Still Rick Gerwin, fitness team lead at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Health & Fitness Center in Barrington, Ill, has seen the paybacks that couples experience when working out together.
“Partner workouts can increase accountability, motivation and focus, which often leads to better results,” Gerwin says. “There are also more opportunities for variety and creativity in the routine.
Couples workouts usually work best when both partners have similar abilities and experience. If one partner is just starting out, and the other is experienced and athletic, the ‘newbie’ can sometimes feel intimidated and the other partner frustrated. In that case, it is often better for the beginner to work with a trainer or a group exercise class until they feel more independent.
About the Author
Liz Donofrio, health enews contributor, is a marketing specialist at Advocate Health Care. As a newlywed, she is happy to be done planning her wedding and enjoying spending time with her husband and new extended family. In her free time, you can find Liz cooking new tasty recipes for her family, attending Chicago sporting events and chasing after her shih tzu-yorkie, Buttons.