For two people who love being active, Fiancé and I tend to spend a lot of our time together sitting. Specifically eating or watching Netflix. While both of these activities are healthy in that they are ways that he and I unwind and rejuvenate together, we decided it was important for us to incorporate more movement into our daily routines.
I started brainstorming ideas and thought it might be nice to provide them here for any other couples who might be trying to add physical activity into their mutual lives.
Tennis is the perfect couple activity. Regardless of the skill level, you can laugh as both of you struggle to keep the ball in play more than a couple hits or enter an intense competition of returning your 100 mph serves. Or, if one partner is infinitely better than the other, as is the case with Fiance and I, they can be more reminiscent of training sessions. Fiance, who played in college, keeps himself from getting bored by playing the whole doubles court on his side.
Advantages: Naturally made for couples (or a double date!), total body workout.
Disadvantages: Large learning curve, can be rough on joints, equipment required.
If both you and your partner like to run consider merging your routes. You’ll get the advantage of someone to push you for that last mile.
Advantages: Potentially improve both performance, working towards a goal together.
Disadvantages: It is unlikely that partners are identical in speed and endurance.
Hitting a trail is a great way to spend time with a loved one and sweat a little in the process.
Advantages: Can be tailored to personal fitness, relatively low impact, able to maintain conversation while being active.
Disadvantages: May have to drive to another location, less pleasant in unideal weather.
On the next hot day head to your local water hole. Swimming is a great way to enjoy the weather, your partner, and some activity.
Advantages: Total body workout, looking awesome in your swimsuit.
Disadvantages: High chance of your partner thinking it’d be fun to dunk and splash you.
Whether you bike a familiar path or break a new one, it is a great way to explore the world around you.
Advantages: Can move quickly if become bored, seeing your partner in biking shorts.
Disadvantages: A good bike can be fairly expensive and takes up a lot of room.
Exploring the neighborhood
Who doesn’t love strolling their boo? For an added bonus, swing your intertwined hands back and forth as you walk for additional exercise.
Advantages: Free, allows you to people watch.
Disadvantages: Unless you’re booking it, it’s a fairly low intensity exercise.
If you want your walk to be more purpose driven, try geocaching together. While less popular than a couple years ago, caches can still be found all over. There are certainly some to discover around you.
Advantages: Free, purposeful.
Disadvantages: Need some sort of gps, sometimes involves crawling in pretty dirty places.
Because who doesn’t want to be that dorky couple in helmets and knee pads?
Advantages: Great glute and quad workout, people staring because you’re awesome.
Disadvantages: People staring judgementally.
Hitting the weight room
Resistance training is an important part of a fitness routine. If you both enjoy lifting, head into the gym to tone up together.
Advantages: Built in spotter, high intensity physical activity, possibility of lower gym costs.
Disadvantages: Most of the time you will not be actively engaged with each other, a lot of awkward grunting noises will probably be made.
Whether your style is more ballroom or bump and grind, you’re sure to get your heart rate up as you get down to the music.
Advantages: Promotes intimacy, can learn new skills.
Disadvantages: If your partner, like mine, does not like to dance it might getting them to do so might be like pulling teeth.
1 on 1 basketball
Being five foot nada, I don’t find basketball particularly enjoyable. But if you do, have at it!
Advantages: Total body work. I’m told it can be enjoyable.
Disadvantages: Size inequality can make play difficult.
If you live near a large river or lake, there’s likely some place that rents canoes, kayaks, or row boats. Taking one of those out and enjoying the watery and peaceful surroundings is a great way to spend time with your loved one.
Advantages: Great upper body workout, easy to converse.
Disadvantages: Moderate to high cost, likely travel involved.
Fiance and I are just the tiniest bit competitive. Sometimes we’ll have a spur of the moment push up contest, or see who can do a wall sit longer. When done intermittently, these competitions make exercising seem more like a game than a chore.
Advantages: They can be however much you want of whatever you want.
Disadvantages: If not dealt with in the right spirit they could lead to antagonistic feelings.
Teaching each other something
I already mentioned that Fiance is teaching me to play tennis. But I’m also teaching him yoga. Teaching your partner about something that’s meaningful to you is a great way to be active.
Advantages: Increases things in common, each person gets to be an expert.
Disadvantages: Not everyone is a good teacher and not everyone is a good learner. Be gentle with each other.
Hopefully this list gave your some ideas for how to spend some active time with your loved one.
Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to share in the comments.