The reason I like the title of this article is because only a couple of weeks ago I spent a weekend away in the countryside with my wife.
My wife is very much into walking – usually long distances, up mountains and over rough terrain. (She’s Scottish, so it’s in her blood!)
Since we met, I’ve enjoyed walking a lot more, especially the physical challenge and
drinking beer afterwards social aspects.
Anyway, the walk we found was reasonably easy.
It was a lovely Spring day, and the walk was only about 40 14 miles long.
Despite not being a hardened walker, I really enjoyed the day, met some nice people along the route, saw some beautiful scenery, and enjoyed the fitness side of it too.
Oh, and spent some quality time with my wife of course!
It led me to thinking about other activities we could do together in order to challenge us, keep us fit, and for us both to enjoy.
The Usual Fitness Routine
A lot of people (myself included) try to get to the gym about 3 times a week, which forms the foundation for our fitness goals.
Getting 3 weight training sessions under my belt, is the minimum level of fitness I set for myself for the week.
Anything above and beyond this I consider a bonus!
The problem I have, apart from being on-call, and attending various ‘fire’ or medical emergencies during the week, I don’t participate in any other form of physical activity.
I generally sit at my desk for the majority of the day.
A lot of us live similar sedentary lives, sat at a desk for most of the week, with just a few hours given to working out.
This is far from ideal.
In addition to our 3 or so, designated workouts a week, we should all look to be more active and find other enjoyable activities to take part in.
Team Up, And Get Active
If you are living with a partner or friend, you will often have evenings, weekends, days, or half days when you both have some free time.
This is a great opportunity for both of you to participate in a fitness activity.
You get to spend quality time together, doing something different than watching T.V. or shopping!
Plus you both reap the health and fitness benefits that come from the activity.
So with that in mind, here’s my top 10 list of fitness activities for couples:
Walking is a great activity couples can take part in.
It doesn’t require any special skills or equipment, it is a free activity and there are endless walks you can discover.
You can walk around your local town, on a beach, up mountains, through forests, over hills, around streets, in parks, through fields, across hot coals. You get the idea!
There are tons of ideas for walks.
Walking as a couple is one of the easiest and most beneficial activities you can do in regard to physical health and mental well-being.
From a quick 20 minute walk in the morning before breakfast, to a whole day planned hiking in remote areas, there’s always an opportunity to have a walk.
I’ve come to love finding amazing walks whilst holidaying with my wife.
Until we met, my idea of a holiday was to lie on a beach or by a pool for most of the day.
These day’s we look for exciting walks when we go away, and we end up in places we would never normally see.
Below are just a very small sample of some of the places we’ve been to whilst recently walking as a couple:
With these types of walks (or hikes), you get to see some amazing views, lots of beautiful memories to look back on, and an incredible workout!
Cycling can be anything from a gentle bike ride around a lake, right up to off-road, extreme mountain biking.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll both enjoy it, you can always hire a bike for a day or afternoon and see how it goes.
Like walking, there will usually be lots of cycling routes near to wear you live, so you’ll have plenty of routes to keep you busy.
Cycling allows you to cover longer distances, so you often get to see more, and visit more places.
Although it’s unusual for a couple to have similar running abilities, there’s no reason why you both can’t get outside and enjoy the experience.
Like walking, jogging is a cheap (free) form of exercise with plenty of routes to choose from, and has many health benefits.
Increasing the intensity of the run means you can both achieve a good workout in a lot less time, which is ideal for busy couples.
I’ve been researching some amazing holidays that also have a race or running event near by.
When you combine a holiday with a big event, such as a marathon, you experience so much more.
For some reason this event caught my eye – The Marathon-Du-Medoc – the world’s longest, booziest marathon!
It takes place in Bordeaux, France in September.
A full marathon with 23 wine stops, also offering specialities such as oysters, steak, and ice-cream!
The title of this article does say – “get fit while having fun”!
I bet you didn’t expect to see golf on the list!
Golf is more of a physical activity than people imagine.
If you carry your clubs (which also adds to the physical challenge) rather than drive round in a buggy, you could cover approx 6-7 miles over an 18 hole course.
As an activity to complete as a couple, I think golf is right up there.
You both get to enjoy a sport, which can be competitive or just for fun.
Obviously the cost is going to be a consideration for some people, but it doesn’t have to be overly expensive.
You can get a decent set of second hand clubs, and golf membership fees have significantly reduced over recent years.
Although there’s not an awful lot of talking that goes on during this activity, swimming is something you can do as a couple regardless of individual capabilities.
It is a very cheap way of keeping fit, and works every muscle in the body.
Swimming doesn’t place any stress on your joints, so even if you’re the ‘un-fittest’ couple ever, you can swim without fear of injury.
For the more serious swimmers, the next step is; open-water swimming, where you get to swim across lakes or in the sea!
An activity that requires some form of competition is not always ideal, due to differing abilities and physical strength.
A good idea is to find a club or similar couples to play against.
That way you can play with your partner as a mixed doubles pairing.
Team events are great for keeping fit, and if you join a local club you often meet new friends. Just don’t fall-out with your partner if you lose!
7. Skiing/Snowboarding or Skating/Roller-Blading
Another couples’ activity I can wholeheartedly recommend is skiing (I’m a skier not a border), but snowboarding still counts!.
Depending on where you live, it’s probably not an activity you will take part in every weekend. It can also be one of the most expensive activities to choose.
Having said that, skiing is one of those sports where you get a great workout, without working out!
Plus you get to see some stunning views..
Skating or rollerblading are also great fun to do as a couple and like skiing, will give you a good workout without you even knowing.
8. Home Circuits
If the weather is particularly awful or you just don’t want to leave the house, a great way to keep fit with your partner, is to devise a fitness circuit in your home.
You can have a lot of fun with this, as well as getting a good workout.
Pick 6 to 10 exercises that you can perform in a big enough space in your home (or outside).
Agree on how long you will spend on each exercises and how many circuits you intend to do.
One of you needs to keep an eye on the time, or have a clock somewhere you can both see it.
The advantages to this type of activity are:
- You can both work to your own ability.
- Saves a lot of time.
- Needs zero or very little equipment – you can even do it in your jim-jams!
- Costs nothing.
I’ve done a home circuit with my wife before and it really is good fun, as well as challenging.
9. Take a Zumba, Tango, or Salsa Dance Class Together
This really appeals to me and is on my ‘to-do’ list! I’ve always wanted to try Salsa but never got round to going.
Again, there’s a lot of fun to be had with this and once you get to a decent standard you’ll be working pretty hard.
As a couple I can imagine it being really cool to be able to dance together – especially doing the Tango or Salsa.
Obviously you will need professional lessons from a dance teacher, but the cost will be fairly small.
Plus you can practice dancing around the kitchen at home!
10. Rock Climbing
I believe rock climbing is a fast growing activity, and one that develops a lot of upper body strength and hand grip.
It can be a quite a mental challenge too.
Indoor climbing walls are springing up everywhere and a lot of modern gyms now have them.
So you don’t need to risk life and limb scaling your nearest mountain!
Being a big fan of compound exercises, I particularly like climbing because it is a ‘whole body’ workout in one activity.
You get to work your arms, shoulders, core, back, chest and legs.
I’ve not yet tried this activity with my girlfriend, but I know she enjoys climbing and I’m sure we’d have a great time as a couple.
I was going to include sex on the list, but I think that activity goes without saying!
It certainly burns plenty of calories, as well as many other physical and emotional benefits.
Of course there are lots of other physical activities you can take part in as a couple, please suggest any more in the comments box below.