Improving a romantic relationship has emotional benefits, but if those improvements are being done the right way, there are physical health benefits as well.
Maintaining a relationship and keeping off those extra pounds can be extremely difficult, but thanks to a new study, doing both at the same time could help with the other.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, couples who burn up to 587 calories a day are less likely to fight, which means they’re also less likely to breakup.
The study shows that swimming, which could burn up to 650 calories an hour, as well as cycling, jogging, or doing a few high-intensity workout sets at the gym can help shed those unwanted calories, subsequently improving other important aspects of life.
The researchers tracked both physical movement and sleep patterns of 118 married graduate students with full-time jobs — typically a high-stress demographic — and monitored the arguing patterns of each participant with their respective spouses.
“Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviors at home,” said Professor Shannon Taylor of University of Central Florida’s College of Business Management and lead researcher of the study. “If they’ve been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household.”
In addition, Rapid City Journal took a look at an individual couple and followed their physical workout activity. Their anecdotal findings echoed those of the UCF study.
“We try to lead an active lifestyle,” said Ryan Hansen, who will celebrate his 11th wedding anniversary with his wife Melissa in August.
The 35-year-old couple meets at Rushmore Crossfit three to four times a week and does 30 minutes of weight lifting and cardio work. In addition to reliving some stress, these workouts actually help Melissa and Ryan bond with one another.
“We work out to combat stress,” Melissa added. “Exercising releases endorphins, which helps us feel more satisfied. We also like to stay active to set a positive example for our kids.”
Professor Taylor added that the UCF study provides a new perspective on regular exercise.
“It’s not just good for you,” she said, “it’s good for your spouse, too.”