Shared Workouts Keep Relationships Healthy

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Double your fun: Keep Your Relationships Healthy with Shared Workouts

Shared workouts keep relationships healthy

Christine and Chris Mansolillo work out together at Crescent Bay Park in Santa Monica. (Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer)

It’s challenging enough for one person to find the time and motivation to get off the couch and get on the treadmill.

For a couple to coordinate their schedules and interests with the goal of exercising together is an even harder set of hurdles to jump.

But it’s generally worth it. Having a partner join you on your fitness routine can reap benefits galore. They spend time together, they sweat together,” said Jason Kozma, an L.A.- based personal trainer who specializes in working with couples. “That’s bonding. It gives a little time together not just as couples, but as friends.” Thirty minutes to an hour of extra time several times a week with your mate may not seem substantial, but even that small slice helps the relationship, said Chris Mansolillo, general manager of ExerciseTV, a digital cable fitness network. “Sometimes you have so limited time, with everyone being so busy,” Mansolillo said.

Chris and his wife, Christine, are “very diligent” about working out together, he said. For years, the Santa Monica duo has been accompanying each other six or seven days a week to the gym, yoga and stairs classes, and on walks. It’s a part of their marriage and a part of their lifestyle.

“We try to one-up each other,” Chris said. “If we’re doing 10 stairs in Santa Monica, we both have to do 10.” They don’t compete all the time. When the Mansolillos go to the gym, for example, Christine may work on her cardio for a bit longer while Chris
moves on to the weights. “If she doesn’t like what I’m doing, she goes maybe on the bench next to me,” Chris said. “We’re kind of the school of thought of, `If you want to do it, great, but if not, I don’t have any problem not joining in.’ ” Working out together, however, doesn’t mean working out the same. “A man shouldn’t do a woman’s workout, and a woman shouldn’t do a man’s workout,” said Kozma, a former Mr. America bodybuilding champion. One of the basic differences is the set and repetition scheme. When it comes to pumping iron, women should follow a higher-repetition, lower-weight program. For men, it’s the opposite – lower reps at a higher weight.

“There’s the myth that women think they’re going to grow big muscles,” Kozma said. “That doesn’t happen, especially if you’re training in the right way.”

Think beyond the gym. It all goes back to what the couple is interested in. If your mate has always been curious about self-defense, consider taking a tai chi class together. If you both love the outdoors, invest in a couple of bikes and find some cycling trails.
“It’s tough because a lot of women are not fans of gyms and a lot of guys are not into more of the yoga classes or the cardio exercise classes,” Chris said. But even if it’s nearly impossible for the two of you to organize a workout agenda, there’s still hope. Sam Glenn and his wife, Carol, of Rancho Palos Verdes make exercise a part of their lives, but because of their schedules, it’s more convenient for Sam to rise early to exercise and for Carol to work out by moonlight. It doesn’t hurt their relationship one bit.

“We were able to be very supportive of each other,” Sam said. “We never Sam cheats a bit, though. He does his morning workout at home, when Carol is getting ready for work. And once in a while, he’ll go home early and join his wife on her evening walk.
What matters is that the two are in on this together. It’s easier to keep up a fit life – exercise, diet and all – when you have someone right behind you reaching for the same goals, Sam said.

“As a couple you’re able to go down the path together and support each other,” Sam said. “It’s not something you do for a couple weeks or a couple months to be successful. It has to be a lifestyle change.”
Sylvia Masuda (310) 540-5511, Ext. 390;
Article Launched: 03/31/2008 09:54:23 AM PDT

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