Maybe you’ve met someone new, you like them, but the time they’re wanting to spend with you is seriously impinging on your training routine. There are gym schedules to stick to, meals that have to be eaten at certain points in the day, and the new running program…
Or perhaps you spend most of Sunday, almost every week, on long rides with your cycling buddies, and your partner is constantly nagging about going on a romantic mini escape weekend.
It’s a pretty common issue, actually.
Hang on. I vaguely remember Gloria saying it was date night tonight.
The thing is, relationships need constant focused work, just like fitness does. And just like you get bored doing the same gym routine over and over again, your relationship also needs some variety, positive challenge and novelty to keep it fresh.
Plus, don’t forget, a good relationship offers benefits you just can’t get from exercise, no matter how many endorphins you release when you’re running or cycling.
An exerciser’s guide to good romance
Encourage your partner to use the time you’re at the gym or training to do something special on their own or with friends – call it ‘me time’ for both of you. Now, match that with quality time spent with your partner, involving an activity or pastime you both like.
If your love life is flagging or you’re feeling bored, and you’re veering towards exercise to get substitute thrills, use some gym logic in the bedroom. Just as you revise your workout every couple of months, retune your approach and think about how you can introduce new activities and variations during your intimate time with your favourite babe or stud.
And remember what exercise and sex have in common – endorphins. They are brilliant. They flood your brain and body when you’ve been physically pushing yourself. They help you conquer pain so you can keep going and smash through physical and mental barriers.
So, if you want to create a more satisfying relationship, think endorphins to get active within your relationship. Too tired at night? Sacrifice one morning run a week for a sleep in, giggle and snuggle with your bed buddy.
Check in often with them to see how they’re feeling about your exercise habits. And check in with yourself, too. Take a moment for some insight – do you still get ‘high’ on exercise? Would you rather be exercising than spending time with your partner? Is that to do with your attitude towards exercise, towards your partner or both?
If you discover you’re never happy with the ‘high’ that you get from exercise, you might have to ask yourself if you’re addicted. If you feel like the state of wellbeing you once got from 30 minutes of exercise doesn’t happen until you’re going for hours at a time, and you’re sacrificing social engagements to work out instead, that’s pointing to a problem. Be honest with yourself, talk to a health professional and figure out why it’s happening.
More seriously, there’s also a mental compulsion to exercise that can stem from eating disorders. If you wake up and all you can think about is exercising, even if you actively hate it, but still feel compelled to keep going, then definitely talk to a psychologist. You’re harming yourself, and health professionals will be able to give you the advice and help you need to get better.
In the meantime, realise you can have both fitness and a relationship – right attitude and right partner, and you should be right!