Can you really double the fun when you exercise with your spouse? Some claim that exercising together is the most effective and rewarding way to get healthy and build a stronger marriage. Studies even show how when couples make a commitment together to create a healthy environment that includes nutritious foods and good exercise plans that they live longer and more connected lives.
Should I Really Exercise with My Husband?
Just as there are no two marriages that are the same, there is no one single and definitive answer to the question: Should I really exercise with my spouse? For some people working out together creates and builds strong bonds and brings the partners closer together. It can even promote stronger intimacy in relationships.
However, for others (like me), exercising with a spouse is about as promising as a rainstorm on the desert. If you’ve ever found yourself not looking forward to exercising with your guy, it may be time to make a choice. Work out together and be less inclined to stick with it and enjoy it or work out separately and find another activity to share.
Reasons Why Exercising Together is a Bad Idea
1. Where is the me time? – Exercise is a great opportunity, especially for busy parents, to find some me time during busy schedules. If the exercise regimen is about compromises and working out together, it inhibits your ability to just do this one thing for you. I like to watch my shows while I ride the exercise bike or listen to my music when lifting weights. And these are about the only two times those things happen in our busy home.
2. Not enough room for personal preferences – It is so much easier to stick with something if you enjoy it. My husband thrives on an exercise routine, and takes great care to plan out weeks of routines at a time – it is just his thing. Six weeks of P90X would get way too monotonous for me, so I prefer the flexibility of mixing up outdoor and indoor exercises.
3. Competition – Competition can come in several forms and can subtly ruin a workout, or even be dangerous if one partner continues to keep pace that isn’t safe for the other. I admit I’m a competitive soul, and this has gotten me into trouble before. I was lifting weights in one room while my husband was doing cardio in the next. As I lifted a weight I felt a searing pain in my shoulder – and I admit that all I could hear was my husband telling me to “work through the pain” and I didn’t feel like I could quit and walk past him as he continued to exercise. I should have stopped and saved myself a shoulder recuperation that required weeks of ice and heat therapy, but I learned my lesson. (And my husband clarified for me what he would have said if given the chance – pain during means stop, pain after means you worked hard.)
4. Different goals – Partners in life don’t necessarily have the same exercise and fitness goals in life. My husband is almost a foot taller than I, has biceps that make men around him envious, and eats more protein than I would have thought humanly possible. I exercise to reduce my arms, have battles with maternity leftovers around the middle, and have to watch every calorie like they are going through airport security. If we followed the same fitness path we would not only look like the odd couple, but we wouldn’t be happy with ourselves.
It is OK to not share everything, including your exercise routine. It doesn’t mean that your relationship is lacking, but it just means that you are still two individuals with different goals and needs.
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