Health is a priority for many of us, and exercise is a huge piece of that puzzle. Today on the Blog, we have Certified Personal Trainer and CEO of Lovell Fit, Britt Lovell, sharing her insight on exercise and relationships.
She’ll be covering why working out with a partner is effective for your health and improves your relationship, along with a super fun (yes, we tried it!) partner workout to do with your special someone.
You may have seen Britt on our previous Feature Friday with her babe, and we love what she is up to in the fitness world. We are thrilled to have her guest post for us this week, make sure to check out her links below if you want to see more of what she’s up to.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
Feature Friday: Exercise and Relationships (With Lovell Fit)
With the New Year just past us, there was, once again, a large number of “New Year, New Me” health and fitness goals flooding social media–which I love to see! But for some of us, it’s not setting the goal that’s the hard part, it’s finding and keeping the motivation to get started and keep going. (Anyone else starting to dwindle?)
Well, why not enlist our special someone to help keep us on track?
I think it’s time we considered how physical fitness can benefit not only our own health and well-being, but that of our romantic relationships. Let’s grab our sweeties and invite him or her to be our workout buddy!
Here are 3 great reasons why working out with your babe, may be the best decision you could ever make:
Studies found after participating in physical challenges or activities with a partner, couples reported feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more connected with their partner.
It’s believed that the physiological arousals (touching, moving, interacting, etc) of the activity rather than the basic novelty of the activity (fancy dinners, movies, etc) can drive a deeper romantic attraction. With that in mind, exercise is a perfect example of an invigorating activity that can create positive effects within the relationship.
How to implement this science:
Create a fitness goal like taking morning runs together, signing up for a 5K obstacle course, or making your date night a couple’s workout night, and give your romantic relationship a positive and fun boost!
Informative Study Article: (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000)
FUN CHALLENGES TO TRY IN VANCOUVER AREA:
The Color Run
When we exercise with a partner, we create an environment which coordinates our actions positively together. (Ex: running at the same pace, lifting weights in sync together, etc.) These behaviours create a type of mimicry that benefits us as a couple, even though we may not even realize it! Nonverbal mimicry has been proven to help couples feel more emotionally attuned to each other and reported greater feelings of “bonding” or connection with their partner.
Exercising together can provide the opportunity for couples to create a bond, a connection, and benefit both, our health and the health of our relationships, through development of nonverbal, physical synchronicity.
KEEP IN MIND:
Depending on the starting points and goals of your partner, this type of mimicry cannot be easy to attain initially for everyone. (Ex. A partner who is more in shape than the other, less flexible, different health conditions, etc.) Do not be worried if you are not instantly in sync right away. ALL bodies are different and will respond to exercise and health changes differently. Take your time, get educated advice from your doctors if need be, but pace yourselves and most of all, SUPPORT each other each step of the way.
Informative Articles: (Stel & Vonk, 2010)
Communication is so important in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Exercising with our partner gives us the perfect environment to allow us both to practice our communication skills in a can-be stressful arena.
Keeping a heavy weight from falling on our partner, spotting their exercises for safe form, or making sure they don’t lose their balance, are all great opportunities to exercise our communication. Training together can help us to better speak our feelings and in turn provide each other with feedback and encouragement during stressful times.
Exercising together can also help us interpret each other’s body language when under stress. (Does this type of encouragement cause tension physically? Or do they seem noticeably relieved/motivated by it?)
Through effective and positive communication in the gym, we can take these communication notes into our basic relationship situations. We can spot noticeable body language changes and limit misread situations during normal everyday activities. We can learn to rely on each other for help and protection when needed, and find our partner will be there to support and encourage us through our struggles.
KEEP IN MIND:
Communication in any situation requires both parties to keep minds open and available to all sorts of encouragement and constructive criticism. In order for communication tests to work we need to embrace whatever our partner may want to share with us.
We know proper exercise and nutrition help us develop and increase our overall health,
cardiovascular system and strength. What can improvement in those areas also lend a hand to?
That’s right, bedroom stamina.
It’s no secret that exercise induces similar symptoms that correspond with arousal. Sweaty hands (well, sweaty everything!), excited pulse, shortness of breath. I think you get where I am going with this. Experts out there have even discovered some exercises can cause Exercise Induced Orgasms (EIO).
Yes… This is a thing. You COULD orgasm simply by working out. (See study articles below if you want to find the literature on this).
I digress from the point though. The main point is getting those endorphins running is good for all sorts of things, especially our sex drive. Exercising with our partner is a great way to get the libido revving for the both of you.
I mean, who doesn’t want to see their partner in their workout clothes, squatting, running, sweating? (PS. Sweatpants ARE sexy. Haha!) Plus, post-workout-shower-sex, is an idea I don’t think anyone’s going to complain about.
But, don’t take my word for it, go workout with your partner and try to tell me you don’t tilt your head a little while they deadlift. *wink*
Helpful Tips For Exercising With Your Partner:
1) Don’t set expectations on your partner. If your partner is not comfortable exercising at your level, whether that be at a higher or lower level, don’t try to “encourage” them to do otherwise. If you guys are different in physical health, pushing each other to unrealistic levels is not going in the right direction. Yes, we should motivate them to keep exercising, but not if it’s going to put them in unsafe circumstances both emotionally or physically.
2) Plan your sessions out. Talk to each other beforehand about your goals. Let each other know what you each hope to gain from your gym session together, that way you can encourage each other towards those goals. Also, this will make it easier for each of you to know exactly what the other wants from this new endeavour and you can listen for the right cues to give positive and helpful feedback.
3) Cheer each other on to their personal best. Whether it is lifting 5 lbs or 50 lbs, be proud of each other’s achievements and try not to impose unrealistic expectations on your partner’s health and fitness development. You are there to be there motivation, their support system. NOT their drill sergeant.
Baby steps forward, are still steps forward. Don’t rush progress, and have fun!
Lovell Fit Partner Workout
From me to you, here is a fun, quick and easy workout you and your sweetie can do together! A compact workout you can do anywhere with your partner, whether it’s at home, in the gym, or even outside on a sunny day!
All you need is:
A Water Bottle
A Ball or Non-breakable easily catchable object
A Towel or Mat *If not at home
Go through the Set of Exercises 3-4 Times for full workout
Take 45 sec to 1 Min break between each SET.
Take 15-30 sec break between each exercise. *As needed
Be sure to stretch out at the end, and remember post-workout shower sex is allowed!
Exercise 1: Leap Frog
a.k.a Burpee Tuck Jump/Push-up Combo
Partner 1: Push-ups (2 counts down/2 counts up).
Partner 2: Burpee on one side of partner.
Using the jump portion, jump over your partner.
Burpee down again on other side.
5 Jumps Per Partner then switch roles.
*Push-ups can be modified to knees, or however needed and jumps can be done beside Partner, rather than over, if needed.
Exercise 2: Squat Toss
Partner 1 has Ball (or other non-breakable object if no ball available).
Partners together squat down.
Squeezing the glutes to come up, both partners stand and Partner 1 tosses the Ball to Partner 2.
Partners then squat down again together.
Continue this back and forth, until the ball has been passed back to Partner 1, 10 Times.
*Focus on squeezing those glutes together and pushing up through your heels.
Exercise 3: Partner Lunge
Partners stand facing each other.
Starting with the right leg planted, each partner will lunge their left leg back, while putting their left arm out towards their partner for balance.
Grasp hands and lunge.
Push up through the front leg to stand, then switch legs.
Continue this back and forth until you have lunged each leg back 10 times each.
*Focus on going at a slow pace to start, hold your core strong and push up through your front leg. Get those glutes working!
Exercise 4: Partner Wall Sit
Partners stand back to back.
Slowly lower yourselves into a seated position.
Using your partners back for support, breath and hold those cores strong.
Sit in this position for 30-60 seconds.
*When you start to struggle, cheer for each other. Motivate each other, and if that doesn’t work, talk about something to distract yourselves from the timer. You can do it!
Exercise 5: Ab Twist Toss
Partners sit facing each other. Partner 1 has Ball.
Feet to the floor, bring your chests up and lower back into a V sit.
Take a deep breath, breathe out and engage that core and begin.
Partner 1 will tap the Ball on either side of him/her, then toss it to the waiting Partner 2.
Partner 2 will catch and proceed to tap Ball to either side of him/her and toss back.
Continue this exercise until Ball has been passed to Partner 1, 10 Times.
*Focus on your breath, don’t hold it, and don’t let your lower back round out. Keep that chest up and go at the pace that best suits your form.
Exercise 6: Low Fiving Planks
Both Partners get down, into elbow plank position facing each other, with about an arm’s length distance between each other.
Raise up off your elbows onto your hands.
Give each other a Low Five on each side. (Right with Right, Left with Left)
Continues this exercise until you have come up to your hands 10 times.
*Focus on keeping shoulders and hips parallel to the floor, not letting your lower back drop downwards. Keep your core tight.
There you have it! Some great scientific motivation and a really accessible partner workout to get exercise improving your relationship and your health. A big thank you to Britt Lovell for the great information and tools, we love it!
And trust us guys, this workout was a lot of fun, even the fails–laughter is a core workout too, right?