How to get your partner to exercise with you

Do you and your partner workout together? Find out how you can boost your bond and burn calories by focusing on fitness as a couple.

By Jen Kirsch

How to get your partner to exercise with you
©iStockphoto.com/maridav
No matter your age, gender or size, exercise not only improves your health and fitness level, it also improves your overall quality of life -- including your relationship.

Eva Redpath, a fitness expert and health promoter, offers seven tips on how to get your partner to exercise with you.

1. Make it his idea by asking for help
Take the pressure off your partner to get active by asking him for help at the gym. It doesn't hurt to play dumb in some situations. Maybe you don't understand how to use some of the machines or could really use a spotter?

"Safety first," says Redpath. "Having your partner there watching your form and acting as a spotter when you need it will help your man feel like the hero," she says. "Getting them in the gym environment is the first step."

2. Lead by example
Talk up your own experience as much as possible. Plus, it doesn't hurt to mention all the cute guys at the gym or to name-drop one of your partner's friends who has been hitting the gym hard lately.

"Competition can be healthy. Keep it light, fun and positive -- everyone loves a challenge," says Redpath.

It's also important to let your man teach you a thing or two, warns Redpath. "He'll feel empowered," she explains.

3. Make date night an active one
Redpath suggests doing something active together on date night, such as playing tennis or squash, cycling or planning a romantic hike or walk on the beach. Surprise... you're exercising.

"It's like slipping veggies into your kids' diet -- sneak attack," says Redpath.

By doing something active on date night, he won't feel like you're trying to get him to exercise, nor will he be offended in any way. People don't like to be told what to do, and if they are, they naturally fight back. Make a fun and active plan without even dropping the words "exercise," "activity" or "losing weight.'

4. Go for tech gadgets
Guys are suckers for technology. "Show him your new heart-rate monitor or latest GPS gear and perk his ears," suggests Redpath. "Get lost in your adventure together, jump on the bikes or pick a trail and track it online with the GPS navigation tools," she adds.

Make it more about the gadgets and less about the exercise. Talk about a good distraction!

5. Make it fun
Since men are competitive, it's better to try a new exercise together than to take him to a class that you're already a pro at. Try learning something new together, instead, suggests Redpath.

"That way you'll both be newbies instead of one of you being the tagalong," she explains. "I suggest a new sport or join a club. Join a baseball team or ultimate Frisbee team, but no dance lessons. Pick something unisex or something that appeals to him, like jock yoga."

6. Keep in mind that more exercise could mean more sex
"Sex is a physical activity, so the more physically fit you are, the better," says Redpath.

In this case, you're both strengthening for a purpose: performance. "Exercising for strength is essential for sexual satisfaction. You'll be eyeing each other up in the gym and your sex drive will be revved up after an invigorating workout together," says Redpath.

Now how about that for some motivation?

7. Let him choose the activity or exercise routine
Again, if you take full control of what classes or activities you're doing together, your partner might resist. In relationships, for the balance of power to be equal, it's important to compromise. Instead of holding the reigns on your exercise plan, why not let him take the lead?

Your mentality should look like this, says Redpath: "We're going to do something active this weekend, you pick!"

Making him believe it's his idea will allow him to both look forward to it and ensure he'll give it his all.

"Exercise -- whether it is at the gym, at home or through an organized sport -- should be part of an ongoing lifestyle commitment," says Redpath. "Change it up, take turns planning and compromise on interests. Those who sweat together, stay together!"


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