Why Couples Who Exercise Together Stay Together

Science shows that, when it comes to couples, there’s more to exercising than getting fit

From spin to high-intensity training, cycling across hilltops to a 5k park run, couples are exercising together more than ever before. And research shows that couples who sweat together, stay together.  

A growing body of evidence suggests there’s more to exercising than getting fit. Not only does working out have plenty of benefits for your physical and mental health, but it can also help couples build connection and have fun.

Working out together can be a great way to bond with your partner, and spend quality time together, while also motivating each other to pursue your wellness goals.

Keep reading for four benefits of couples working out together. 

1. Improve motivation

Exercising with a partner can boost your energy output and staying power. Encouraging comments and support provide the motivation and knowledge that you’re in this together. 

Plus, you’re more likely to follow through on your plans to exercise when you do so together. Research has found that a couple's shared beliefs about exercise influence how much effort they put into sticking to a program — so your partner could be your biggest motivator! You don’t want to be the one who lets the side down, after all.

2. Boost arousal

Exercising together can increase relationship satisfaction, in and out of the bedroom. It may well be your body’s physical response to exercise rather than the sight of your partner gasping for breath and dripping with sweat that stirs romantic attraction. 

But lab studies nevertheless suggest that a racing pulse can stir romantic feelings and boost arousal all the same — and partner attraction is certainly good news for your relationship.

3. More quality time together

Do you and your partner exercise together? It’s not all about wall-to-wall weights and feeling the burn — a stroll in the park or yoga practice counts just as much. 

It’s the sharing of activities that is important here, so a good place to start might be a “get up and go” date.

4. Be present with each other

There’s also added value in exercise that connects with nature. In my research on long-term couple relationships, many couples highly valued getting outdoors both for the fresh air and exercise and also because it connected them with nature. 

This connection provided an opportunity for mindfulness and grounding. Can you recall the last time you simply went for a walk, with no agenda other than to enjoy the moment and be with your partner?

Ready to connect with your partner everyday?

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Further reading

About the writer
Dr. Jacqui Gabb
Jacqui is Professor of Sociology and Intimacy at The Open University in the UK and was formerly Chief Relationships Officer at Paired.
Her 'Enduring Love?' study on long-term couple relationships has received widespread critical acclaim, with findings being reported in national and international media, including: BBC World News, CNN, the New York Post, and more.
Her research and impact activities have been recognised by three prestigious awards: the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial prize (2009, the Open University Engaging Research Award (2014), the Evelyn Gillian Research Impact Award (2016).
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