The team at Valenti Matchmaking believes that a couple that plays together, stays together! Sharing a favorite pastime or sport with your loved one can really bring the two of you closer. It can also be an avenue to build a better, stronger relationship! We found this helpful article by Anna Tyzack that describes how playing sports together can bring the two of you closer, including some helpful tips!
Forget date night or a romantic weekend away, the key to a happy relationship is to sweat it out together – at least once a week. Couples who exercise as a pair are not only fitter and more confident in their appearance, but are more likely to stay together, according to recent studies.
Working out together can even lead to a better sex life: 20 per cent of those surveyed admitted regular exercise as a couple increased their libido. “Moving your bodies together lends an energizing quality to the activity,” explains Dr Jane Greer, a relationship expert and author. “Afterwards you’ll feel stronger and more confident and you’ll get your adrenalin flowing as well, which carries over into your strength as a couple.”
If the thought of a Lycra-clad his-and-hers gym session brings you out in a cold sweat, no matter – working out in the fresh air is best, according to Corinne Blum, a relationship coach. She recommends making an adventure of it; a cycle trial, for example, or an urban hike.
Many of our frustrations stem not from our relationships but from the fact our lives are dominated by mental activity; we are physically frustrated,” she says. “If you get outside into nature and work out together, you release toxins and disperse this frustration.” Tennis, riding, yoga and golf can all have a positive impact on a relationship, helping couples to be more trusting of each other, more affectionate and less argumentative.
Not only does exercise release mood-enhancing endorphins and adrenalin but it leaves couples feeling energized, which makes them feel happier and attractive in themselves and in turn more affectionate towards others. Studies show that both men and women are more sexually responsive following short periods of intense exercise.
For Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation, however, it’s the commitment aspect of exercising as a couple that makes it such effective therapy. “You’re making a joint plan, you’re putting aside time for each other with intent and there is no substitute for this,” he explains. Studies show that couples who take out gym memberships together are not only more likely to stay together but also are more likely to stick to a fitness schedule, according to the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
Few things are more bonding than sharing a difficult, tiring or invigorating experience each week, adds Blum. “Every couple needs to have a special thing they do together, a time when they share in each other’s emotions and lay bare their own strengths and weaknesses.”
But what if your partner’s fitness levels vary drastically from your own? Or you hate the idea of golf and they laugh when you suggest they take up horse riding?
If you’re unfit, start by simply walking together, building up to a hike, suggests Dr Greer; Benson and his wife find cycling is a good way to enjoy gentle exercise together. “We usually do things at different speeds with different levels of interest, but cycling is something we can do together,” he explains. “If there’s an element of sacrifice on one person’s part, that’s a good thing. Encouraging each other, supporting each other, slowing down for each other are things we don’t do enough – and if you can talk while you’re doing it, so much the better.”
Getting started | How to choose the right activity
Respect each other’s likes, dislikes and fears and be open minded about trying new things – boxing or martial arts, for example – even if it means your partner might be better than you initially.
It might take a while to find a sport you both enjoy – test drive a few before committing. Then, stick at it and encourage your partner whenever they’re losing steam.
While light-hearted competition is healthy, don’t set out to beat each other – remember you’re doing this to get fitter. You’ll be much less likely to continue exercising together if one of you leaves feeling frustrated and inadequate.
Get in step
If you can’t shake off your competitive edge, stay clear of the tennis court or ski slope and go for a sport that requires you to work together, such as ballroom dancing, or one that is non-competitive, such as yoga or Pilates.
Go back to basics
If you’re struggling to find a shared interest or you’re unfit, do something you’ve already mastered – walking or cycling for example – and take it to a new level.
Set yourself a goal
Enter a three-mile run or triathlon; plan a cycling holiday, a kite surfing course or a walking weekend in the Hebrides. If you have something on the horizon to work towards you will be more motivated as a couple. Good luck.
What do you think? We welcome your thoughts and questions about this topic. Please feel free to send us any questions about this or any matchmaking topic! Our company founder Irene Valenti will personally address your questions!