The old adage hold true: Those who work out together, stay together.
But it's easier said than done. With two separate schedules to consider, let alone all of life's other responsibilities, squeezing in a few workouts a week together can be harder than expected. Sometimes though, when simply carpooling to the gym isn't enough, adding a little fun into the mix can be a big motivator when it comes to creating and sticking to a routine.
There are tons of benefits for working out as a couple besides simply losing weight or getting in shape. Couples who exercise with their partners report better body image, increased levels of happiness and better communication.
From tandem kayaking to rock climbing, we listed seven creative ways to work out as a couple that promote a more active lifestyle, healthy competition and plenty of quality time spent together.
Yoga is one of the more wholistic, convenient, do-anywhere activities on this list. All you need is a couple of yoga mats and plenty of space, and you and your partner can stretch to your heart's content. For beginners, this means just completing a session together (both doing the same series of poses), but as you become more advanced, there are lots of poses that require two people for a truly collaborative workout. Click here for seven of our favorite yoga platforms that you can stream from the comfort of your own home to get started.
Call it what you want—running, jogging, fast walking—all we're talking about is lacing up a pair of shoes and heading out the door together. If you're new to running, click here to learn how to start, and if not, we put together five running workouts to do with a partner. This includes things like "adventure runs" where one of you picks the route and "relay runs" on the track that can be completed at any pace.
If you and your partner enjoy going to the gym, there are tons of exercises that are super effective when done together. We put together some basic exercises that can be done at the gym (or anywhere, for that matter) that are more effective when being motivated by a partner. They can be approached two separate ways—done at the same time or one person works out while the other rests. Either way you'll have plenty of accountability and encouragement for those early morning sweat sessions.
For the more adventurous couple, tandem kayaking is a team workout that's disguised as "fun." It's a low-impact sport that's great for core strength and improving cardiovascular fitness, and simply being on the water improves mental health and clarity. It's a bit more gear intensive than other activities on this list, but once you have the tandem boat, paddles and life vests, it's something that can be done with your partner year-round (weather permitting, of course). Click here for our kayaking safety tips to keep in mind, no matter your experience level.
You don't have to ride a bike worth a few thousand dollars or dress like Lance Armstrong to enjoy riding a bicycle as a form of exercise. Cycling is a great couples workout because it's a fun way to explore your hometown together while burning calories and soaking up some Vitamin D. It's also been proven to decrease stress levels, increase cardiovascular fitness and increase muscular strength and flexibility (especially in the legs and core). Plus, it's an activity the whole family can do together. Click here for five cycling tips for beginners.
Rock climbing isn't as extreme as it sounds, especially if you have a climbing gym in your area. It takes two people to climb—one on the ground who "belays" (holds the rope) and one person to scale the wall. While you'll gain tons of upper body and core strength, indoor rock climbing isn't all about sheer power. There's a lot of technique that goes into it that requires flexibility, mobility and a bit of strategy too. All climbing gyms will have different routes set up based on experience level, but as there's a level of risk involved with this activity, please consult the staff for safety tips and pointers before starting, as well as to be certified to belay.
It's not the most common activity on this list, but don't overlook cross-country skiing next time you and your partner are looking for a new activity to try out during the colder winter months. It's a full-body workout that burns tons of calories and improves endurance, as well as core and leg strength. Like cycling, it's a great way to explore your area, but as you're on skis, you aren't limited to the streets—it's essentially "hiking" on snow. Click here for six steps to prepare for your first cross-country skiing adventure, and click here for a few tips for beginners beyond "pizza" and "French fries."
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