Work, school, running errands… whatever you have going on, almost everyone can agree that there just isn’t enough time in the day. Quality time with your significant other can be hard to find, and when it comes to exercise, you may as well forget about it!
But there’s no reason you can’t have both. HealthMarkets presents five exercises that you and your significant other can do together, just in time for Valentine’s Day! A plethora of research touts the benefits of exercising with a partner, and when you and your partner embark on a routine together, you’re both more likely to meet your goals. What better way to celebrate your love than by getting healthy as a team?
Remember those wheelbarrow races where one person held your legs as you ‘walked’ forward using your hands? You may not have done this in a while, but with a little modification, it’s a great core workout! Start in a pushup position, and have your partner pick up your ankles and hold them at his or her hips. Do as many pushups as you can. Each time you do a pushup, your partner can simultaneously squat, so you both get a good burn in.
This exercise requires some trust in your partner! One person gets on the floor in the forearm plank position – start out as though you’re going to do a pushup, but put your forearms and elbows on the floor so your weight is resting on them. As the first person holds steady in forearm plank (think “light as a feather, stiff as a board”), the second person jumps back and forth over the first partner. Don’t forget to switch, so you get a chance to both jump and plank!
You and your partner face each other, about an arm’s length apart. Your feet should be in line with your hips. Grasp each other’s forearms and simultaneously squat. Try to squat so low that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then, stand up in a smooth, slow, controlled movement. Do three sets of twelve or fifteen reps each.
This yoga pose is a great stretch, and will really work your hamstrings. You and your partner sit about three feet apart, facing each other. Hold hands, making sure that your legs are between your arms. Lean back and raise your legs so the soles of your feet are pressed against the soles of your partner’s feet. Once you’ve found your balance, slowly straighten your legs. Keep your abs engaged as you hold the pose for twenty seconds. Move your legs back down slowly so you don’t lose control and kick each other in the head!
Tap-Out Mountain Climbers
You and your partner take turns doing this exercise. Start in a plank position, with your palms on the ground and your arms extended. Raise your right knee up towards your chest. Switch legs by pushing your left foot off the ground while you bring the right foot back down. Do as many as you can before ‘tapping out,’ at which point your partner will ‘mountain climb’ as you rest. See how many the two of you can consecutively do without stopping!
Couples who participate in a physical activity together feel more intimately connected and satisfied in the relationship. You’ll look better, feel better, and most importantly, be healthier while spending time with someone you care about. Try some of these exercises today!