Get Sweaty

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 As summer begins to heat up, exercise and fitness begins to creep back into everyone’s mind. Advertisers seem to put a prominent emphasis on the physical figure during these extra hot months; the outfits get more revealing, and the activates move outdoors. So what’s a girl to do? Get rid of your self-consciousness, grab your partner, and get in shape together.

“Working out with your significant other can be a terrific way to intensify a relationship,” says Rebecca Brown for Shape Magazine online. While I usually like to grab a best friend or sibling to keep me motivated while working out, I have to admit that the idea of getting sweaty with my boyfriend is surprisingly exciting. I’ve never been much for the active lifestyle. I enjoy a brisk walk or a tennis game every once in a while, don’t get me wrong, but living away from home this past school year has really stuck me in a lazy rut. So, this summer, I have vowed to start a new workout routine, and one that involves my boyfriend as my main motivator.

“Working out together doesn’t always mean doing the same thing,” says Katherine Hobson for US News, Health. In fact, it’s important to remember to change things up. Workout DVDs are a great way to start – they keep the routines fresh and different, and it is something you and your partner can experience for the first time together.

My wonderful boyfriend, Allan, has recently come into possession of an intense workout video similar to P90X called Insanity. The Insanity workout is a 60-day schedule of working out and eating right; however, we’re taking it easy by making our own schedule and working out 3-4 times a week instead of the recommended 6. Together, we’ll be each other’s trainer, and each other’s motivation. After completing the fitness test for Insanity, we evaluated each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Since Allan is an avid runner – and I’m not – he was able to do more sets of the exercises than I could. But I didn’t let that discourage me; instead, it was more of an inspiration to push myself harder.

“It's often more fun to exercise with company, you motivate each other to actually get out the door, and your workout gets a shakeup,” says Hobson. Your partner is a natural choice for a workout buddy, since you are familiar with each other’s strengths and body types. Decide on how much weight you want to lose, or what you want to tone, and design a fitness plan to match it. 

Like many others, my workout struggle often comes from the difficulty of pushing through the hard parts; with Allan by my side, he wouldn’t let me give up. He even took the time out of his routine to help me do mine right. When I got weary, he kept telling me things like “you can do it!” “you got this!” and “we’re almost done, just one more!” – it was like having my own personal trainer there who truly cares about my health and progress.

Working out with your partner may sound unappealing at first; you might not want your significant other to check you out at your sweatiest, puffiest, more disgusting moment. Other couples find exercising to be erotic and find it hard to concentrate on a workout regimen without getting over-excited. Letting your partner see you in a vulnerable state – exhausted and smelly – will bring you two closer together. And why not get excited over watching your partner get sweaty? Let me put it this way, if your partner thinks you’re beautiful and sexy after a tough workout, you’ve struck relationship gold.

Brown suggests music to help connect you and your partner to a combined workout. “Put the same playlist on your iPods [or MP3s,] and use the song changes as cues to switch up the pace. This way, you’re doing your own thing, but experiencing it together.”

And since the weather will most likely be too gorgeous to ignore this summer, take advantage of the sun and move your typical in-door exercises to the outdoors. “Try something totally new for both of you; buy a package of tennis lessons, or join a hiking club,” says Hobson. Utilize your pool for more than just tanning or relaxing; try underwater exercises or take a few laps as a warm up or cool down. Look for workout classes that interest both of you, whether it’s dancing, boxing, or rock-climbing. Try something that neither of you are pros at, so you’re learning at the same time and pushing each other equally.

Instead of trying to arrange your fitness around your love life, combine them as a way for you and your partner to experience something new. Remember, adding more heat to a relationship is never a bad thing!

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Junior > Journalism > Boston University

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