The Buddy System- Working Out With Your Significant Other
In honor and recognition of Valentine’s Day I want to address a big issue and concern that arrives in the life of every relationship. It’s that moment when you have the brilliant idea: “We should work out together.” While working out as a couple has its benefits—a commitment to staying fit, extra motivation, and a better sex life, may not be not for everyone
Every person is different and every relationship is different Couples usually don’t take the time to discuss each person’s fitness goals beforehand. Partners need to establish some guidelines before taking on a workout plan together. You should decide how many times a week you’ll exercise together and finding a time during the day that works for both of you. A couple should consider throwing in the towel when they’re not motivating each other to achieve the goals they each want to achieve
Be Sensitive of Each Other’s Bodies Another uncomfortable, yet necessary, issue to discuss is both people’s physical build. It goes without saying that your body can be different from your partners’ — from body fat to muscle mass to lung capacity. You need to be sensitive to that when setting goals, and come up with realistic expectations. Until the person is in a place where they feel less self-conscious.
Put Aside Competition and Jealousy Working out together can be great for two people who enjoy healthy competition, while it also works well when they aren’t competitive at all. To prevent the competitive or jealous streak from taking over, find a type of exercise or workout that both parties are interested in. People build more intimacy when they are developing a shared interest and having new experiences together. So try an activity neither of you have done before, like a dance class, yoga or paddle boarding. Remember that the goal is to have time together.
Keep these key guidelines in mind—
1. Be open to trying something different. When your partner offers to teach you to shoot a basketball, even though you haven’t played since elementary school, suspend your disbelief or your fear of humiliation rather than reflexively saying, “I’d rather be swimming.”
2. Switch off being the leader. Two type A personalities attempting to direct the same workout can lead to butting heads. Let one person plan how you’ll spend your half-hour of weights or pick the mountain biking route; think of it as having your own personal trainer, and allow your own brain to shut off.
3. Learn something new together. He’s a spin class veteran, and you’d rather do yoga? Try something totally new for both of you; buy a package of tennis lessons, or join a hiking club. Besides being fun, trying novel activities together is good for your love life.
4. Try activities you can do at different paces. If you’ve run for years but your boyfriend is a newbie, your easy 4-mile jog can be his weekly speed workout. If you both like to cycle, the faster person can sprint ahead, then circle back and ride with the slower one. Or, if you’re at the gym, you can work out on adjoining machines and pick your own pace.
5. Pick different but compatible activities . Working out together doesn’t always mean doing the same thing. Maybe one person wants to use the elliptical machine, and the other wants to lift weights nearby
6. Push yourself … but don’t overdo it. One of the best parts of working out à deux is getting motivated to go farther than you think you can. However, don’t hurt yourself. Test, but don’t exceed, your limits,
7. Take cues from your workout buddy. Some people like to chat nonstop; others prefer companionable silence or even exercising together while listening to the same iPod playlist. Be aware of what your partner enjoys, compromise, and figure out what works for you both.
8. Be supportive. Be kind and encouraging. People are more likely to keep up an exercise routine if it’s fun. “Fun” doesn’t include being snapped at and berated for not catching on fast enough.
9. If it goes well, incorporate the kids. People are more likely to keep up an exercise routine if it’s fun. “Fun” doesn’t include being snapped at
10. Make sure your own workout needs get met. . If you need more of a challenge and can’t figure out a way to exercise together, don’t be afraid to tell him you need several workouts a week to yourself, too