Exercise has countless benefits, not just for your own health and happiness, but also for your romantic relationships. Yes, cardio exercises are great for the obvious: heart-health, reducing obesity, decreasing stress, etc. What about improving the stability and satisfaction of your relationship? Establishing a running routine with your S.O. might sound like torture–even for seasoned runners–but it can enhance your relationship and ultimately lead to a happier you.
Here are 5 reasons you should start:
Share a Fitness Goal
Its no secret being in a relationship requires teamwork and effort from each individual on a daily basis. Similarly, setting a running goal requires hard work, dedication and effort to achieve it. Having your S.O. work toward a running goal with you brings you closer together and can boost the quality of your romantic relationship along the way. In fact, Psychology Today explains couples that participate in exciting physical challenges, report feeling more satisfied with their relationship and more in love with their partner.
Pro Tip: Start with a specific running goal in mind, such as completing your first 5k together or running a 10-minute mile. Instead of just saying you’ll run 2-3 times per week together, have an actual milestone so you can get serious about it and establish a routine.
Weight Loss Together
If you and your S.O. are looking for a reason to start running, weight loss is always an added benefit. In fact, 35 percent of people polled started a running routine to lose weight, according to Fit2Run. It’s easier to stay motivated for weight loss when someone is making that commitment alongside you and is invested in your progress. In addition, when you surround yourself with people who do things that you do—eat well, exercise—there’s a very good chance you are going to follow suit, hence why you should do it together. Encourage one another and hold each other accountable.
Pro Tip: It’s common for you and your S.O. to prefer different times of the day to workout. What’s important is that you compromise your schedules to find the time as commitment is key to weight loss. Try trading off—3 days a week you run before work and 2 days after work. Or fit in weekend runs when you can.
Increase in Energy
Do you ever feel like when you come home from work all you and your S.O. have the energy to do is lay around? Exercising, especially in the form of running and cardio, can give you a significant increase in energy. A running routine will give you and your S.O. the boost in energy you both need to be more productive throughout the day and make time for other fun activities to enjoy. Schedule your runs for the week and try your best to stick to them—after a week or two you’ll notice a change in your energy levels.
Pro Tip: Give yourselves a break every now and then. If there’s one thing running teaches you about life, it’s that everyday brings it’s own challenges. It’s okay if you can’t go as fast as you did yesterday and it’s okay to skip a day when you’re just not feeling it. The important thing is that you keep going, together.
Running can be a great way for both you and your S.O. to release your anger in a healthy way. It’s easy when frustrated to take your emotions out on the people who mean the most, typically your loved ones. Next time you’re feeling really annoyed with that coworker or stressed about your family and want to take it out on your S.O., suggest lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement together. Afterward you’ll guaranteed feel a positive release and significantly less stressed.
Pro Tip: Sometimes it’s better if you don’t try to carry on conversations on your runs when you’re feeling anxious or frustrated. Pop in your ear buds and encourage your S.O. to follow suit—as long as you’re running stride-by-stride, you’re still working together to get to the finish line.
Give Your Relationship a New Dimension
It’s easy to get caught up in the typical day-to-day routine you and your significant other establish and forget how critical quality time together is for your relationship. A running routine can add a whole new dimension to your relationship you might not even know existed. Taking time to concentrate on your health and well-being is very important and if you make a pledge to do it together, it can be very rewarding.
Pro Tip: Try running together first thing in the morning a few days a week—before the notifications, the never-ending to-do list and checking work emails. It will allow the both of you to truly prioritize your alone time together, to clear your minds and just to enjoy each other.