Sweat Together, Stay Together
Fitness Leads to Happiness in Long Term Relationships
You’ve heard the old adage “opposites attract.” The saying might have even been true for you at one point, but unfortunately it doesn’t apply when it comes to health and fitness.
If you’ve made the commitment to invest in your body and your partner is still spending their weekends on the couch, you may have the beginnings of a breakup on your hands.
It may sound superficial to fight over fitness, but seeing your partner disregard their health is a serious issue that causes emotional strain, anxiety for the other person’s wellbeing and calls into question their motivation and commitment.
When you add in the loss of attraction, it can become a core issue in the relationship.
Mutual attraction is one of the most basic needs we have with our partners. Psychology Today reported the results of a 2012 Harris Interactive survey which indicated that physical attraction was a strong measure of success in romantic relationships. Let’s face it: you want your partner to look good.
Attraction matters, and it’s harder to achieve once the “spark” of a new relationship fades. While there are many other factors that determine how we view our partner beyond their bodies, we are naturally more attracted to our partners when they are healthy and fit.
Commitment to personal health and fitness is an attractive quality. When we see our partner making their health a priority, setting goals, putting in the work and achieving results, we are drawn to that ambition and drive. Forming goal-setting habits through exercise affects other aspects of your life as well, including both work and personal relationships.
Exercise improves mental health, reduces depression and anxiety, boosts confidence and can lead to an increased sex drive, which helps partners to experience healthier, more open, more satisfying relationships with one another.
For couples in long-term relationships, you may want to consider that exercise has been proven to reduce the effects of aging and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Even initiated later in life, regular exercise has a dramatic effect on our longevity, health and happiness as we age. For committed couples, this can mean increasing valuable years spent together later in life, and ensuring that the time you have is as healthy, active and happy as possible.
Making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle influences the places you go, things you do and people you surround yourself with.
If your partner agrees to make the commitment with you, you can turn your fitness time into romantic, quality time spent together. You can go on long hikes, cook healthy meals, join a dance class, try rock climbing- there are hundreds of ways to start making healthy changes together.
Need a little extra encouragement to get your lazy love off the couch? Check out our 5 Ways to Motivate Your Partner to Work Out.
Demetrius Fincher, LMSW, NASM-CPT
Invest in Your Body