Why Couples Who Play Together Stay Together

What some of us might have suspected all along just may be true: Couples can have a very positive effect on each other’s health-related habits. According to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, having a partner who exercised made the other person five times more likely to become physically active as well. 

Although a visit to your medical professional can be beneficial, there are ways you can take advantage of this finding without a pep talk from your doctor.

In fact, you can simply begin (or continue) a workout program of your own and set a good example for your partner or spouse (not to mention your kids if you have them).

Of course, you can always take the direct route and ask your other half point blank if he or she would like to take a power walk with you. And if power walking might prove to be too intimidating for either of you, you can simply plan casual walks, which in themselves may offer health improvements.

It Takes Two

Why not try easy-to-follow couple workouts, which you can easily access online? You can even find Couple Workout diagrams, memes, and tips. And more good news—even if you’re happily single, you can do these partner exercises with a friend, family member, or even a potential paramour.

Sweating Together

Other experts also confirm that couples who sweat together stay together as a result of working out in tandem increasing the emotional bond between couples.

Dr. Theresa E. DiDonato reveals, “those who experience or engage in [exercise] tend to report greater feelings of having ‘bonded’ with their partner.”

Mood Enhancers

Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the same way that sex or food can do. So why not experience your “exercise high” with the one you love or are attracted to?

Just Rewards

The best part of working out together might be the bonding that occurs afterward. After your next dual exercise session, try planning a decadent (and surprisingly good for you and your relationship) treat in the form of dark chocolate-covered strawberries. Research published by the Journal of Nutrition suggests that consuming foods rich in flavonoids, which includes cocoa, may also improve your skin. 

Beyond the Sweat Factor

Happy relationships ultimately extend far beyond the gym, of course. Try working on home improvements together or create your own home vegetable garden or a couples' only book club. 


By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks. Joy’s latest book is From Junk Food to Joy Food.