Relationship weight gain, or ‘love weight’, as it’s known, isn’t simply a concept designed to fill the column inches of pages such as this one. Nope, it’s a real, researched and ratified phenomenon, and studies have consistently shown that happy couples gain weight after a period of time together.

Some believe it’s because you’re more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices when you’re with a loved one – skipping workouts to snuggle on the sofa, more alcohol on date nights, and restaurant meals and desserts as part of those date nights, too. Others think that we lose a little drive in looking our best once we’re shacked up and ‘off the market’. Whatever the reason, this love weight is rarely anything to worry about.

While, of course, a little weight gain really doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy, the current global pandemic and its increased threat to those who are out of shape has prompted many to enter the new year with finding a newfound fitness at the forefront of their thinking. Yep, you know where this introduction has been leading; here are 5 ways for couples to stay in shape together.

COOK HEALTHY MEALS TOGETHER

One of the great joys of being in a relationship is dining out at restaurants, staring lovingly across the dinner table into each other’s eyes and stealing your partner’s last chip when they’re in the loo – and we wouldn’t want it any other way. That said, heavy restaurant meals can take their toll on your health and according to some research, 92% of restaurant meals have too many calories in them. 

Instead, why not focus on cooking thrifty, healthy meals at home, as a couple. Doing so gives you complete control over the calories, salt and sugar which goes into your meals, and it’s also a great bonding experience for the two of you, each and every day. The couple that cooks together stays (healthy) together? It does have a certain ring to it!

EXERCISE TOGETHER 

Couples who sweat together, stay together – it’s not just a cheesy saying or an excuse to take a long, hot shower; research regularly reports on the surprising benefits of exercising together, ranging from an improved bond between the two of you all the way to boosting your mutual attraction to one another.

Research also suggests that you’re more likely to have an intense and productive workout if it’s done together. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence that working out with a buddy makes the effects of the exercise much more profound, so this is something that you might want to bear in mind, as well. A mutually beneficial activity which improves our fitness and our relationship? Count us in.

EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON HEALTH 

Couples who study together, stay together, too. While we can’t actually find any research that backs this up, we reckon it’s probably true. Regardless, much like a gym buddy, having a study partner can provide massive motivation when learning a new skill, discipline or subject, and if that study buddy is your partner and the subject concerns health, then it’s likely you’ll both reap the rewards. At the very least, you’ll have something to talk about if conversation ever runs dry.

Consider a nutrition course to make the most of those healthy meals you’ll be cooking together. Or, how about a personal trainer certification, so you’re clued up on the best ways to maximise the potential of your diet and your exercise regime. Personal training is all about helping other people reach their health and fitness goals – imagine doing that together, as a couple. Even if you don’t study together and instead do a personal training course on your own, your partner is less likely to get annoyed with you correcting their plank form once you’re a trained professional.

TRY OUT OUTDOOR HOBBIES & HOLIDAYS 

Though the very idea of a holiday abroad right now feels so far fetched it’s hard to even comprehend, it doesn’t hurt to make new plans and consider new priorities. When you finally do get to take another trip as a couple, why not change things up in favour of more healthy, active and adventurous pursuits?

We know the temptation when on holiday, particularly as a couple, is to eat and drink far too much, and sleep it all off poolside, but holidays don’t have to be unhealthy; for inspiration check out these reasons to go on an adventure holiday. We guarantee you’ll be convinced!

MAKE TIME FOR YOUR OWN HEALTHY HABITS 

Though we’ve been extolling the virtues of shared activities for the good of your relationship and your health, it doesn’t mean you should neglect the healthy habits you’ve cultivated solo. 

Should your partner not enjoy swimming but you find it particularly rewarding, don’t neglect finding a few minutes for a dip each week. If inner peace most comprehensively lands for your partner through meditation, but you think it’s a load of nonsense, then firstly, keep your mouth shut. And secondly, make room and give space for your partner to meditate in peace

If you love someone, set them free, and all that; you’ll both appreciate the healthier versions of yourself and your partner, so endeavour to make time for your own healthy habits as well as focusing on shared healthy experiences. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

”It takes teamwork to make the dream work”. ‘Nuff said.