Food & Fitness

Benefits of exercising with your spouse

Today the boyfriend and I are heading out for a back-country camping trip to Sleeping Giant. We’re going to be hiking for hours every day until Sunday! I’m really looking forward to our first big hiking trip this summer 🙂 This post is in honour of our favourite shared activity, hiking.

Something that I’ve seen a number of times over the years is the dilemma of relationships and a fitness lifestyle. Often I hear healthy bloggers saying things like they couldn’t ever date a couch potato. While being a couch potato can occasionally be enjoyable, incorporating fitness into your relationship can strengthen your bond (and improve your health!).

The boyfriend and I are lucky that we both love love love hiking and walking. The boyfriend has also discovered that he has a real natural knack for running, and he enjoys it so much that he’s been wanting to share it with me. As you all know, I have a love-hate relationship with running… and these days, my running abilities are pretty dismal. But that’s okay! Running is definitely not my favourite activity, but I like running with the boyfriend from time to time. The fact that he enjoys it so much makes it a more pleasant experience for me, and it’s a good way to challenge myself with an exercise I’m not used to doing.

Not everyone can exercise with their partner, but I think that if you do it right, it can be a huge amount of fun and it can be a great asset to your relationship.

extreme sport

This looks like an activity I'd enjoy! Not sure that I'll be able to convince the boyfriend to do this one with me though - he's not too keen on heights 😉

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you want to build exercise into your relationship:

1) Do both of you want to be active? This is a pretty important question, and one that might be a deal breaker for many of you. Definitely a good idea to clear this one up before surprising them by signing them up for that upcoming half marathon.

2) What do you both enjoy doing? If you love running and your spouse doesn’t, that’s okay: you can run on your own. And if they are avid swimmers but you have a horrible fear of the water, that’s okay too: they can go swimming on their own time. It’s important to not ignore your fitness passions just because your spouse doesn’t share that passion. But you also shouldn’t try to force them to love the exercise just because you love it. Not everyone is cut out for the same type of exercise. It’s a really good idea to at least try out a new exercise a few times before deciding whether or not you enjoy it, but if you don’t enjoy it, don’t force yourself to like it. Sit down with your spouse and find an activity that you both enjoy doing that you can do together.

3) What are your levels of fitness? Any number of things, including age, gender, health history and diet, can contribute to your capabilities when it comes to exercising. Keep this in mind when you exercise

4) Are you both willing to be challenged? Relationships put everyone in a vulnerable position, and incorporating fitness into the equation is no exception. There are bound to be times when you will feel discouraged because you can’t lift as heavy or run as fast as your spouse, and you need to accept that. View it as a way to measure your progress and to try to keep up with them – competition can be healthy! Keep it light, fun and positive to make the overall experience one that you look forward to rather than dread.

5) Will you support each other? You need to be cheerleaders for each other if you’re going to do this together. Don’t belittle your spouse’s efforts. Everyone is going to have varying levels of difficulty when it comes to various exercises, and the best way for you to both get healthy and have fun while doing it is if you encourage each other and cheer them on when they’re starting to tire.

Do you and your partner exercise together? Do you share a passion for the same type of exercise? How important is an active lifestyle to your relationship?


  1. Jody - Fit at 53

    Really good post! My hubby & I do not exercise together & actually like doing different things. He likes group sports & I like to be alone with no team bitc*ing if I do something wrong! 😉 It really works for us plus gives us needed “our own time” as well. I know for some , together is good but for me, I like to do my own thing. 😉

  2. Pingback: The Myths of Exercise… « Fit Recovery

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