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The Couple's Workout

Would you like to increase your stamina? Your feelings of happiness and wellbeing? Would you like to increase your libido? Then start working out with your special someone with this couple’s workout! No kidding. Studies have shown that working out with your partner produces chemicals in the brain that increase the feeling of happiness, reduces stress, and actually increases sexual arousal and the desire for sex! But these are only a few of the benefits of a couple’s workout. Check this out:

the_couples_workout_adriana_martin_imageThe Benefits of Working Out Together

The Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of SAFETY.

Having a partner spot you when lifting can save a lifter significant injury. For your partner to help ensure proper technique means a safer, more effective workout. Jogging the trails is much safer in numbers and keeping an eye on each other is especially important when biking or swimming in natural surroundings.

The Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of QUALITY TIME.

Our schedules are so jam packed these days. With careers, commutes, clubs, and children, it’s a wonder we have any time with our special someone at all! To be together during a workout is a wonderful way to build a strong body and a strong bond!

The Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of ENJOYING A COMMON INTEREST.

Enjoying the things you have in common is part of what makes you a strong couple. For your fitness to be important to both of you means that the goals you set together will be more easily achieved because you have your eyes on the same prize. And celebrations together for those achievements will be even better.

The Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of MOTIVATION AND SUPPORT.

We could all use our own personal cheerleader! You can be that for your partner and receive the same in return when you workout as a couple. There’s nothing like hearing your workout partner say, “You can do it, one more lift!” or “Keep going! You got it!” You’ll work harder and benefit all the more from your fitness program with someone there cheering you on to the next level, and you’ll feel good providing encouragement for your loved one.

The Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of RESPECT AND PRIDE.

You see each other working hard. You both care about your appearance and health. You are proud of each other for the sweat you put into each workout. As a couple, you’re building respect for one another and a sense of mutual pride.

couple_workout_imageThe Couple’s Workout provides the benefit of BALANCE.

Generally speaking, women tend to do more cardio while men tend toward strength training. The couple’s workout will help bring balance as you mix things up to meet both needs.

With a busy lifestyle, you may wonder how to coordinate your schedules to do a couple’s workout. I have some ideas that might help get you started.

  • Sign up for a class.
    • Try Salsa Dance classes, martial arts, yoga, swim lessons, or train together for a 5 or 10K. Signing up for a class puts your activity on the calendar. When you pay for it, you’re more likely to commit to making it happen.
  • Stick to your own intensity level.
    • Just because you’re working out together doesn’t mean you have to work out at your partner’s level. An indoor cycling class will encourage each participant to workout at their fitness level. You and your partner are still together but going at the pace that’s best for each of you.
  • Side by side cardio.
    • Select machines next to each other and yet work at your own intensity.
  • Walk or jog in intervals.
    • Are you slower than your loved one? Switch back and forth. Go at your partner’s pace for a couple of minutes, then back it down to yours for a few. Many marathoners train using this method.
  • Stretch together.
    • Gently push or pull as your partner stretches. The key is gentle and easy, not too much. You’ll enjoy the benefits of helping and the benefits of touch.
  • Try new things.
    • There are a lot of ways to enjoy a good cardio workout that don’t involve the gym or a machine. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, or tossing a football all generate healthy movement and encourage an active lifestyle.
  • Mix it up.
    • Your partner has some favorite workouts and so do you. They may not always be the same ones, though. Mix it up by trying out your partner’s routine and then go back to yours. It’s a great exercise in communication and compromise. Try this!

My Quickie Couples Workout:

This circuit-based workout involves quickly transitioning between strength exercises to increase the aerobic quality of the workout. You can both do these exercises simultaneously, without resting in between—talk about a quick workout!

Spend five minutes warming up before your workout and cooling down afterwards. Try walking on the treadmill, outside, or marching in place.

Exercises: Try 8-15 repetitions of each exercise below. Each person should work at their own level, using either the easy, intermediate, or advanced version (each exercise is listed in this order). Complete the whole circuit up to three times.

  • 10 to 15 Squats
  • 10 to 15 Walking Lunges
  • 10 to 15 Push Ups
  • 10 to 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 to 25 Abdominal Crunches

Start with the first exercise and move to the next without rest. Once you’ve finished all the exercises, take a 60 second break and start the circuit again. Perform the entire circuit 3 times at least 3 times a week.

Learn more about Adriana Martin

(originally published January 16, 2012)

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