The couple that exercises together stays together. Just ask Steve and Lisa Jones, who work out at a gym three times a week and hike or run two other days. They’ve been married 40 years and happily recall their Valentine’s story beginning five years before, when they met as teenagers. "It was instant chemistry, love at first sight," Steve, 63, recalls. "We've never looked back." Lisa, 62, continues, “I got in my car and told my friend, ‘Oh, my God, am I in love?’” They still enjoy doing things together, including exercise. Since they started working out 12 years ago, they’ve never faltered in their enthusiasm or habits. 5 Reasons It Works
Research shows there are good reasons we should all be keeping up with the Joneses on this. Psychology Today reports five ways working out together can help a romantic pairing.
It increases happiness with the relationship. After physical exertion together, couples say they’re more satisfied in the relationship and in love with each other. “Having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship.”
It improves the efficiency of your workouts. Just having your partner there can boost your energy output.
It can help you fall in love with each other. Sweaty hands, racing pulse, shortness of breath…are you exercising or falling in love?
It can help you reach your fitness goals. In one study, some husbands said they worked out more when their wives offered supportive comments.
It can increase bonds. Exercising creates opportunities for nonverbal matching of physical rhythms and patterns, which deepens the love connection.
Strong motivations Steve and Lisa got started in fitness a dozen years ago. The impetus was Lisa’s realization that she had slowly become obese. Lisa, a schoolteacher, then took up exercise and changed her diet, losing 94 pounds in the first five years. (She has kept it off even longer than that.) Steve, who works in construction supply, joined her. His parents both lived into their 90s and enjoyed good fitness and health. “I decided, if I’m going to be that old, then I want to be able to do things I enjoy, and not just sit around all the time.” They keep each other accountable and prod each other to success at the gym, where they work on strength, cardio and core. They each have separate interests, too, in addition to their work lives. But they simply love each other’s company, after all these years – including in the gym. “We’re best friends,” Lisa says. “It’s worked for us, all this time. We just enjoy being together.” In fitness and in health. Happy Valentine’s Day.