We’ve all seen those couples at the gym. That’s right – couples. At the gym. To some women, the idea of working out with a significant other is horrendous – he does NOT need to see me sweat (outside the bedroom, of course). But others love the moral support and motivation they get from their sweetie. The truth is, there are proven benefits to having a gym buddy.
In addition to providing one another with support and motivation to stick with a workout routine, hitting the gym with that special someone may encourage you both to try new things. According to U.S. News and World Report, many people have been doing their own routine for so long that they unintentionally close themselves off to other techniques. Working out alongside a romantic partner or even a platonic friend can open your mind to what may be an even better workout – and lets you spend time together without having to miss your workout.
Here are some ways to make date night at the gym extra effective.
Keep an open mind. If your significant other wants you to try swimming, be open to giving it a shot – even if you quit swim team in the 6th grade because you hated it. Keeping an open mind might help you discover you love an activity you had previously written off. At the same time, if you know you despise a certain workout or if it’s going to be detrimental to your health, never feel pressured! Push the boundaries of your comfort zone just enough to stay challenged. The two of you may even decide to try an entirely new activity together – having a buddy you trust can curb the anxiety of embarking on a new experience.
Be different. Working out together does not mean you have to be on the same machine at the same time. Some couples may enjoy going to the gym together even if they do entirely separate things. And locking eyes with your sweetie across the floor every now and then could give you that extra push you need to boost up your workout.
Don’t overdo it. It is important to stay in tune with what your workout partner enjoys and compromise to determine what works for you both. Your spouse may be a master yogi who can twist into a pretzel, while you can’t even touch your toes. While it is important to push your physical limits – after all, that is one of the benefits of this workout plan – make sure to respect your body and limits so you don’t hurt yourself.
Of course, everyone needs personal time for reflection and meditation. If you would like to go for a jog on your own a couple times a week, try pairing that routine with several joint trips to the gym with your partner to achieve a sense of balance.