How You Can Improve Your Relationship With Exercise

Working out together is not only good for your physical health, but it can also be a great way to invest in your relationship. Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, running, biking, working out in the gym, or prefer some other form of exercise, you can get into the habit of connecting with each other – especially with the Sound Relationship House. Dr. John Gottman created this theory as a metaphor for a strong partnership. The seven principles contained in the house have three components: your friendship system, conflict management, and your meaning system. Training with your partner can be designed to cover multiple levels in the SRH.

Create love cards

Making love cards refers to how well you know your partner’s inner world – their likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, and feelings. It falls into your relationship’s friendship system. You can use the practice time to learn more about your partner. One of the best reasons to exercise with a partner is so that you can talk easily and pass the time. Doing this several times a week by just dividing each other’s days will help you learn more about your partner. You can also take the opportunity to ask some questions from the Love Maps card game during training.

Turn instead of away

Turning away instead of referring away refers to how you respond to your partner’s offers to connect, and it also falls under the friendship system (you can learn more about this level in The Relationship Cure). Exercise is an opportunity to connect. If your partner asks you if you would like to go for a walk with them, appeal to their commandment by saying, “I would love to!”

Create common meaning

At this level, couples can create a common meaning with goals, roles, rituals, and symbols. Joint training includes goals and rituals. Practicing yoga together every morning or going for a walk in the evening is a great ritual of connection to create something together. Exercise for health can also be a way to set goals together, be it for weight loss, treating health symptoms, or just strengthening yourself together.


The researchers conducted several research studies on the benefits of exercising with your partner. In a 2018 study by Yorgason, Johnson, Hill, and Selland, they found that exercising with your partner resulted in greater relationship satisfaction on the days you exercise together than on the days you were train alone. In another 2017 study by Osuka, Jung, Kim, Okubo, Kim, and Tanaka, research showed that working with a partner can help you better stick to an exercise routine that makes your goals more successful.

Exercise also affects hormones by reducing cortisol and increasing dopamine. When conflict or flooding occurs in your relationship, your cortisol levels go up. Exercise can be a great way to counteract this. Dopamine creates excitement, pleasure, and the feeling that something wonderful is about to happen. Who wouldn’t want to feel this way in their relationship?

Create a new ritual of connection in your relationship by adding exercise to your day. You will find that doing this exercise will help you create love cards, turn to commandments, and create common meaning. It all brings you closer to the partnership you want with the one you love.