If the thought of sweating through your shirt in front of your significant other feels like a tiny nightmare, hear us out. As long as you don't break up mid-run, there are a ton of benefits of working out together. Don't believe us? Just ask group fitness instructors and real-life couple Mat Forzaglia and Diana Mitrea. As certified personal trainers and co-founders of Stronger with Time, these two are always crushing workouts together, and now they're sharing the top four reasons why physical fitness is a great way for couples to bond.
"Our schedules are insanely busy and have very little time to spend together," says Forzaglia. And who can't relate to that? Between work, family, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers, finding time for personal fitness and your personal life can seem like an impossible task, yet Forzaglia has it figured out. "We always want to get a workout in, so this is a good way to not only exercise but also to help each other get stronger and build a better bond." The bond-building isn't just wishful thinking either, it's scientifically backed. "All the right endorphins are happening during a workout," adds Mitrea. "You feel closer to them by the end."
It's really easy to choose an extra hour's sleep over HIIT class when the instructor doesn't know your name. But when they're lying next to you, hitting the snooze becomes a little more difficult. "If he's going to work out, I'd feel sluggish and lame to stay at home and skip my workout," says Mitrea. Even if your significant other is far from leading the class, Forzaglia still believes that having any sort of workout partner is one of the best ways to stay accountable. "Having (a partner) is like having an appointment. You have a set time and have to meet them at the gym. You can't just blow them off!"
There's a healthy place for competition in a relationship, and it's not during a game of Monopoly. "When I am slacking off and tired I look over at Diana and she is crushing her workout, I know I need to step it up and push myself to her level," says Forzaglia. This admiration works both ways: If you're not feeling it, having someone there to encourage you is enormously helpful. If you're both feeling great, then you can compete to see who comes out on top. "There's nothing more motivating than looking at Mat mid-workout," Mitrea admits. "Plus, I love getting those mid-workout high fives from him."
Working out together can open a whole new world of possibilities, which means there's no telling what your next date night could look like (a marathon, perhaps?). The key to sticking with tandem workouts, say Forzaglia and Mitrea, is compromising. "Try new things and don't get stuck in a workout that neither of you likes...it's about figuring out what works for the couple."