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Though it pains me to admit it, my boyfriend is definitely in better shape than I am. My excuse is that because he’s a guy, his gym results show up way quicker than mine do (the testosterone advantage, people). In reality, I know it’s because he’s much more disciplined than I am, and he doesn’t harbour an insane addiction to salt and vinegar chips.

That being said, I still enjoy working out with him, even if I am lagging behind, sweating and complaining most of the time. He helps push me, and pick me up (sometimes literally) when I’m feeling discouraged. While it’s not always the easiest couple activity, afterwards, we feel great for having accomplished something together (great enough to eat 5 tacos, even). I really believe our workouts help keep our relationship, forgive me for the pun, healthy and strong.

So if you’re on the fence about whether or not to hit the gym with your significant other, read on to see why I think it’s one of the keys to maintaining a super close bond with your lover.

A photo posted by Shawn Chuang (@shawnnn100) on

You’ll admire one another more. 

Chances are, you probably look at your S/O at least once a day at think, damn; or, if you’re like me, you say it out loud obnoxiously. So when you see your partner lifting extra weight, or making it through the final sprint of your run, your sense of admiration and love will only continue to grow.

There is nothing like seeing the person you love succeed, and as you stay healthy and reach milestones together, your sense of appreciation for one another’s accomplishments will only solidify.

It helps you embrace being vulnerable with each other.

I hear a lot of people say that they’re afraid to work out with their partner because they don’t want to look weak, or call attention to their insecurities. First of all - everyone has insecurities, including your partner, who you love regardless! Second of all, unless you’re one of those people who sweats gracefully and always looks good at the gym (if you are, then I dislike you immediately), everyone gets a little messy during their workout - that means you’re doing it right.

At first, it might feel uncomfortable struggling next to your partner, but as you continue to push through your sweat sessions, the pride you’ll feel for one another will far outweigh any embarrassment.

A photo posted by @couple_fitness__ on

It’s key time to be silly and playful together.

There are too many serious, stressful things in our lives already - time spent with the one you love isn’t one of them. Personally, for me to get through a workout, I need to crack jokes to try and ignore the pain - this leads to laughs and teasing banter that makes the workout go by just a little bit faster. Workouts are a great time to just let loose, have fun, and be goofs together - it keeps things lighthearted and fresh.

You can help each other stay on track. 

Let’s be honest, for most of us it’s really hard to stay committed and motivated when we’re trying to get fit alone. Having another person, especially your boo, going down the same path is so helpful. Their job is already to tell you how awesome you are, so having them to remind you to keep going when you want to give up is invaluable.

I must say, though, sometimes you’ll hate them for this; like on Saturday, when, after a few drinks, I really wanted poutine, and my boyfriend kept telling me no. At the time, I wanted to punch him, but the next day when I didn’t wake up with a cheese curd hangover, I was grateful. Trust me, you will be too.

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It will help keep petty fights and bickering at bay. 

As much as exercise sucks sometimes, there’s a plethora of research that tells us it can dramatically reduce stress and boost endorphins, the hormones that help us feel happy and relaxed. Relationships at any stage can benefit from this, since arguments tend to increase when either person is stressed or feeling off balance.

You may find that silly annoyances don’t fester as much in your subconscious when you’re clearing your mind with daily workouts. Or, at best, if there’s something you really need to hash out with your partner, you’ll be able to do it with more poise and clarity.

You’ll break out of detrimental habits.

I get it, after a long day, all you want to do is cuddle up on the couch with your S/O and Netflix the night away. But for some couples, especially those who are long-term or live together, laziness can quickly become a habit, one that's difficult to break when both of you get a little too comfortable hanging in all the time.

The great thing about working out together is that it counts as quality time, usually doesn’t cost much or at all, and doesn’t require a lot of planning or production. And, best of all, you’re doing something great for your overall health. It’ll be hard at first, but the more you get out there, the more motivation you’ll have to avoid the couch and have more adventures together - and when you finally get to Netflix, it’ll feel way more like a reward rather than a habit.

A photo posted by Relationship Goals (@couplegoals) on

It fosters greater love and care overall.

When you have a partner on your fitness journey, you’re inevitably forced to be a little more selfless than if you were doing it solo. You’re forced to think and ask questions like: What works for you today? How are you feeling? Need my help with that exercise?

You care about the other person’s success, and this helps strengthen not only your love but your ability and willingness to care for the other person. Really, it’s a concrete way to demonstrate your compassion for the one you love - which, at the end of the day, is what everyone needs.

Happy sweating, everyone!

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