It’s February and love is in the air! Can you feel it? If you’re looking to jump start your relationship, here are all kinds of bonding activities you can do with your partner to feel closer this month and for the rest of the year. And, in case you were wondering, healthy relationships are an essential element of leading a Conscious Strong™ life, So, let’s talk about how movement, brings us closer to the ones we love.
When you’re in a new relationship, the bonding happens almost effortlessly. You plan fun, new things to do on dates. It feels like you could talk endlessly as you get to know each other. But what happens after the “honeymoon” period? Suddenly your idea of a romantic evening is spending a few hours on the couch in your sweats sharing a frozen pizza and watching reality TV, right?
Don’t get me wrong, those can be beautiful moments too. But it’s tough to bond with your partner if you spend every night this way. So, let’s talk about why bonding through movement is so powerful from a scientific perspective and then dig into some movement-based bonding activities to try with the one you love.
The exertion involved in physical activities leads to a release of hormones and you know the saying, “couples that release hormones together, stay together.” Okay, that’s not quite it. But researchers have found this might not be the craziest explanation for why humans feel a special bond when they exert physical energy together —both in and out of the bedroom.
The endorphins released when we exert ourselves, flood our bodies with hormones that stimulate the pleasure center of our brains. Often referred to as the “runner’s high,” which you may have experienced after a really great run or other intense cardio activity, the release of these hormones increase our pain tolerance and stirs up positive emotions.
When we exert ourselves physically with others in a group setting, e.g., going out dancing with your girlfriends, practicing Pilates in a group, doing CrossFit—and especially when we move in sync—these bonding activities cultivate friendships. Just as mirroring another’s mode of speech can create a psychological connection, matching another’s physical movements leads to a feeling of connectedness.
Long standing couples can absolutely put this science to work in finding new bonding activities to bring back that familiar spark and if you’re in a new relationship, or looking for love, these activities might just impress that extra special someone.
Sign Up for Dance Lessons
There is perhaps nothing more primal than the urge to move our bodies in sync with the rhythm of music. Moving to music encourages social bonding. In fact, one Oxford University study found that when a group of students danced together, they felt closer to their dance partners than to others in their classes.
So, choose a dance you want to learn, e.g., tango, salsa, contra-dance, ballroom, etc. and head for some dance lessons. (Hint: gentlemen, if you really want to impress your lady for Valentine’s, you’d be hard pressed to find a more romantic gift!) And when couples take dance lessons together, the teamwork required to get the steps right adds to the bonding experience. Put on your dancing shoes!
Go on a Hike Together
When we get out a move our bodies together with our loves, not only will we be healthier, but also we can encourage each other to stay motivated. Plus, being out in nature will bring a sense of mindful calm and lift both of your moods. Hiking is a great way to get your workout in, while spending quality time together.
Hiking hits two of the three elements in the Conscious Strong™ wellness trifecta: movement and mindfulness. If you don’t live in a place with easily accessible hiking trails, consider planning a romantic weekend getaway somewhere new. Getting away to nature is a healthy and affordable way to reconnect with your partner.
Attend a New Fitness Class Together
The more time you spend with a person, the more you fall into a routine. If your relationship feels stuck in a rut, break out by trying something new. Attending a new fitness class at your local gym might be just the secret sauce you need to get healthy and remember why you fell in love with this person in the first place.
You’ve probably heard that one of the best ways to attain fitness goals is to find a workout buddy. This is because working out with a partner creates several benefits:
- It pushes you to work harder.
- It creates friendly competition.
- Working out with others holds you accountable.
- Working out together makes exercise more fun.
- Working out with a partner gives you encouragement.
- Working out with your partner or others creates a sense of belonging.
So, in addition, to being one of the best bonding activities for couples, working out together will lead to better health outcomes. What could be better?
If you’re looking for an extra special bonding experience, why not sign up as a couple for one of the Conscious Strong™ retreats? The next event is right around the corner and our custom, small group retreats provide just the right blend of fun, adventure, and mindfulness. Get Conscious Strong™ and watch your relationships blossom!