Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D., is a San Diego based Clinical Psychologist in private practice, best-selling author, regular guest on national television and radio, lecturer and authors the long-running weekly column, “Dr. San Diego” for San Diego Magazine’s website. He is also the Fitness Psychologist for The Sporting Club in La Jolla, California and serves as a member of the research and development team for Lululemon Athletica.
Want a sure-fire way to create a better environment for weight management, relationship enhancement and healthy well-being? Work out with your partner.
If you are concerned about your own or your spouse’s weight, health, fitness and well-being, recent research shows that setting time aside to exercise and lose weight together may be just about the best thing you can do to ensure that you’ll both be around for each other for a long time.
You get to spend quality time with each other, build mutually motivating fun, create a deeper emotional bond, and build a family commitment to fitness, all while getting healthy. Couples who work out together increase their chances of sticking to their exercise program by over 90%! The same can be said for losing weight with each other.
So why not create a health-building, romance-enhancing, weight-loss date night a couple of nights a week at your local gym? Studies show that men and women who exercise regularly report better and more frequent sex with their partners –so how much more enjoyable can exercising with each other be?
My suggestion is to start this fitness plan with a couple’s massage. Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles recently released research that shows that Swedish massage not only relaxes the body, but also boosts the immune system. Light massage provides an increase in oxytocin, often called the “love hormone,” and reduces stress-related hormones. All you need is one session to induce improved physiology.
Then, find an exercise class or two you can take together to release those pheromones and endorphins that get your mind and body prepared for a relaxing evening of romance. Yoga, pilates, zumba, body-pump, and spinning are all popular classes offered at most gyms throughout the United States.
Learning how to stretch each other in a gentle, loving way can help get you ready for some side-by-side treadmill action, stair machines, or elliptical trainers. Weight training, where you serve as each other’s “spotter” builds trust faster than you can spell “gastric by-pass surgery.”
Leaving the gym hand in hand, smiles on your faces and with your metabolism on fire, is an additional insurance policy to avoid eating the wrong foods. After all, it’s romance and a dedication to fitness that working out together is all about. While your body, soul and mind all benefit from exercise, it’s your relationship that’s the real winner when you sweat together.
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