Exercise can be an independent activity, but it's more enjoyable to do with someone you like. What’s more, having a workout buddy keeps you accountable, so you stick with it.
An exercise partner “can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader,” says therapist and professor Michelle Maidenberg. “A buddy can motivate you to do one more set, continue when you feel like you have just had enough and want to give up, or when you are feeling hopeless.”
So grab your significant other and start an exercise program you can both enjoy for a long time. Try these five workouts to find success together:
1. Outdoor experience
Don't underrate the value of an outdoor workout. Not only can you enjoy nature and scenery together, you’re also burning calories and engaging in healthy habits. Skiing, snowboarding and strenuous hiking all promote heart health and keep your body active. Make a date to go skiing this winter, and let your love of the outdoors (and exercise) grow together.
2. Schedule a gym date
Speaking of scheduling a date, simply going to the gym together is a great activity. When you go together, you're more likely to stay longer and try exercises the other person likes, so your workout has variety. Reconnect as you shed pounds and build muscle. You can even finish off with the promise of a shared smoothie afterward.
3. Teach and learn
Plenty of people fail to exercise regularly because they haven’t found a form of exercise they enjoy. Teach your husband jiu-jitsu, or help your girlfriend experience yoga for the first time. Even typical date night activities, like dancing Latin ballroom, help you form healthy habits. As you teach or learn a new physical skill, you will both learn more about your partner and fit in your daily dose of recommended exercise.
4. Strength training and flexibility
In general, men are able to lift more weight, while women tend to have more natural flexibility. It doesn’t matter if you and your partner aren’t on the same level — just use it to your advantage. Lift weights with the same number of repetitions, but use different sizes. You can also run side by side on treadmills at intervals with your chosen speeds. For flexibility, both stretch for the same amount of time, but don’t expect to have the same amount of flexibility.
5. Medicine ball rotations
The medicine ball workout is great for couples. It involves sitting back to back while holding a ball in front of you. As you rotate the ball from left to right, you work your abdominals and balance. Find out more about how to do this workout here.
As you take a journey toward healthy habits together, give positive feedback. Thank your partner after each workout, say when you notice positive changes in strength, endurance or even appearance. Doing so will help you both maintain motivation, so you stay healthy and fit for years to come.