Exercising Together Can Improve Your Relationship, New Study Shows

Jenni Jacobsen

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Exercising together is a way to improve the strength of your relationship, according to research.Karolina Grabowska

It's not uncommon for people to set a New Year's Resolution to exercise more and get in shape, but what you may not realize is that there is a benefit to exercising with your partner. According to a new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, on days that couples exercise together, they are more satisfied with their relationship. Working out with a partner also makes the workout more enjoyable. If you plan to set a New Year's Resolution to get in shape, why not kill two birds with one stone? Make a commitment to exercise with your spouse or significant other, and watch your relationship improve as your fitness levels skyrocket.

The Details of the Study

In the study noted above, participants completed surveys of their daily activities, including exercise behavior and whether they exercised with their partner on a given day. To count as exercise, participants had to complete at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity on a given day. Results revealed that in addition to increasing relationship satisfaction, exercising with a partner elevated positive emotions on days that couples exercised together.

Common activities that couples reported doing together included going to the gym, running, walking, cycling, or attending an exercise class. What can be concluded from this study is that there are a number of physical activities that couples can engage in together to improve their bond and their happiness with the relationship. Since exercising with a partner is linked to positive emotions during exercise, working out with your significant other can make it easier to stick to your New Year's Resolution of getting in shape.

Applying These Findings to Your Own Life

If you're intrigued by the results of the study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, there are a number of things you can to do take advantage of the benefits of exercise. You and your partner can attend a class at a local gym or fitness center together, or you might consider training for a race, such as a local 5K, together. If time and money are limited, there are plenty of options for home workouts. No matter what you choose, what is most important is that exercise is an activity you engage in together. When you exercise as a couple, you'll strengthen the relationship and meet your fitness goals.

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Jenni Jacobsen is an Assistant Professor in a social sciences department at a small liberal arts college in central Ohio, and she has been producing content on relationships, mental health, addiction, and general health and wellness for over 10 years. Most of her content is on healthy relationships, relationship improvement, communication, resolving conflict in relationships, and the impact of mental illness and attachment styles on relationship satisfaction.

Ashland, OH
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