It's no brain science... having an accountability partner with exercise and nutrition is VERY valuable. If you are part of a couple (married, relationship, siblings, or even simply friends) you will find great support if you can get the other person on the bandwagon with you! So, rather than fall victim to the same ol' Valentine's gift of a large box of chocolates, why not make a new lifestyle commitment your gift to one another? I love this idea, because you are committing to stay healthy for each other. You will live longer and have more happy years together, and your time together in exercise will help bond you and bring you closer. I know lots of people who have strengthened their relationships this way; not just their married relationships, but also relationships with children, friends, and other family members. It shows that you care about the other person because you want them to live a long and healthy life. In this blog I want to share with you some quick couples workout suggestions, reasons why working out with a partner are beneficial, and then I'll give you some Chicago-specific activity ideas... many of which would make great gifts for Valentine's Day!
I asked my friends what some of their favorite activities to do are, as couples, and here are some of their responses:
- Playing Tennis
- Home Fitness DVDs (P90X and Insanity were a few favorites)
- Roller Skating
- Dance Classes
- Group Fitness Classes
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Riding Bikes
- Rock Climbing
- The obvious answer... ummmm... sex
Those are just a few ideas. At the end of this blog I've listed a few things to check out, as a couple, that can be FUN fitness times!
So, those are some ideas, but what, exactly, are some of the benefits to working out with a partner?
- FUN "So much nicer having a partner to make the workout more fun than it would be alone!" ~Nicky
- ACCOUNTABILITY "There were at least three days when we were doing the X where either I had no desire to work out, or Josh didn't, but thankfully, it was never on the same day so we always got it done" ~Karissa
- CONNECTION "Reconnecting through emotional intimacy, making the efforts easier, less of a chore." ~Mary
- ALONE TIME "...we even get to talk with out kids butting in." ~Sandi
- INSPIRING YOUR KIDS/FAMILY "I love that we are setting a good example for her and all spending time together." ~ Wendy
- MUTUAL SUPPORT "Doesn't matter, it is great to have a partner who loves being fit as much as you do." ~Scott
- LEARNING NEW SKILLS YOU CAN CONTINUE OUTSIDE OF CLASS "We work up a good sweat, get to spend some time together, and we both learn something new. Plus, we have something to practice or use at random dances afterwards." ~ Annie
- ASSISTANCE "We helped each other with forms, kicks, punches, and when we sparred, we were wearing pads!!!" ~Sarah
- IT BRINGS YOU CLOSER "It has brought us closer together because we have 2.5 hours before work that we now spend as a family." ~Ken
- COMPETITION/SUCCESS "...home workouts have been great, because we call out encouragements to each other, push each other to do more, and high five each other when we're done." ~Sarah
I, personally, push myself harder when I'm around others. The main reason for that is that I want to help encourage people that they are stronger than they think. Because of that, the people I'm working out with try harder to keep up and discover that they are capable of more than they thought! Also, if the person I'm working out with is kicking butt harder than me, it inspires me to be better to keep up with them! I love it! It's other people that really help keep me accountable to my own fitness... whether I'm leading a fitness class, sharing my story online, or just emailing people to help inspire them with their own fitness.
Here are some of my local suggestions for fun ideas for you and your fitness buddy:
- Parent & Tot (or Mom & Baby) Yoga at Bloom Yoga Studio - http://www.bloomyogastudio.com
- Sign-Up for a Health/Wellness Class with Karyn's - http://www.karynraw.com/Events/
- Try out Acro Yoga - http://www.divineflight.com/
- Take Horseback Riding Lessons - http://www.freedomwoodsfarms.com
- Try out the Trapeze together - http://chicago.trapezeschool.com/
- Hike, Skate, Bike, Walk, Cross County Ski (etc.) your local forest preserve - http://fpdcc.com/
- Take Climbing Classes together (and then attend open climb hours once certified) - http://chicagoathleticclubs.com/club-services/climbing-instruction/
- Join the Chicago Social Club and attend events/activiites/join a team - http://www.chicagosportandsocialclub.com/
- Take dance classes at Big City Swing - http://www.bigcityswing.com/
- Get a home fitness program to do together at home - http://www.personalfitnessathome.com
- Pick up a new toy at your local Tulip to spice up your bedroom calorie burning - http://mytulip.com/
You may be someone who is thinking, "Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I'm not in a relationship." You know what? Neither was I for the majority of the time I've been doing this fitness thing. There are things you can do if you are single, including, but not limited to... finding an online community, joining a community team/class, going to group fitness classes and make fitness buddies there, have a long distance friend be your buddy and keep in touch via text/telephone.
The most important thing this Valentine's Day, of course, is to LOVE yourself and LOVE your body... only then will you be doing this for the right reason :-)
Tags: acro yoga, benefits to working out with a partner, Bloom Yoga Studio, Chicago Athletic Clubs, Chicago Sport and Social Club, Cook County Forest Preserves, couples activities, couples exercise, couples fitness, couples weightloss, dance classes, Divine Flight, Freedom Woods Farms, group fitness, hiking, home fitness, horseback riding, Karyn's Chicago, melanie bolen, outdoors activities, personal fitness at home, rock climbing, running, trapeze, Tulip Toy Gallery, valentine's day, valentine's fitness, walking, yoga