It’s very easy for couples to fall into ruts: date night is always dinner and a movie, sex has become a predictable weekly blip and most weeknights see you both collapsing onto the couch in sweatpants – without ever having worked up a sweat.
As one half of the unit, you have remarkable powers of persuasion: you can change things up for the better. Exercising together is one of the easiest and best habits you can get into – repeat a ritual just three times and suddenly it’s routine. When you make a pact to workout together, there is always one to motivate the other on those days when the gym seems too far away.
By holding each other to it, you’ll both benefit: you’ll be healthier, happier and, since shared exercise gets your blood flowing to all areas of the body, that weekly romp may just become more regular occurrence.
For ways to stay on track and support each other, here are 5 tips from Olympic athlete and Toronto-based personal trainer Okiki Akinremi:
1. Plan a healthy, active date night. Meet at the gym after work, then head home to cook a healthy dinner and watch a movie. Sharing a meal and relaxing afterward is so much more rewarding when you’ve had a good workout.
2. Make it a threesome. Find a personal trainer that specializes in couples training, and schedule some sessions. You’ll make exercise a priority without sacrificing time together. A joint session will introduce some healthy competition into your relationship, pushing each of you to give it your all.
3. Discover an active hobby you both enjoy. Spinning, rock climbing, snowboarding and volleyball are all fun full-body workouts you can enjoy together.
4. Have sex. Make it part of your workout regime to hit the sheets for a high intensity workout at least three times a week. He definitely won’t object to this one, and doing the deed can burn up to 300 calories per hour. (Just don’t use it as an excuse to skip the gym!)
5. Create a reward system. Agree on an irresistible reward that you can splurge on together once you both reach your fitness goals, whether it’s weight loss or simply sticking with the routine for six months. Get that flat screen TV, a weekend getaway or an expensive dinner that you couldn’t justify before.