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Good to Know: Holidays are a great time to work out together

Working out together is one of the best

Working out together is one of the best "anytime" gifts you can give to your partner. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Vasyl Dolmatov

The holiday season offers us yet another opportunity to get cozy, demonstrate our love, and best of all, work out together!

Working out together is one of the best “anytime” gifts you can give to your partner; besides that, it can be especially nice and romantic during the holiday season. Working out together also works regardless of your size, age and different fitness levels. Perhaps, best of all, working out together can strengthen both your bodies and your relationship, too.

How does it get any better?

For starters, have you ever thought about participating in one of the holiday fun runs as a couple? Throughout the metropolitan area, there are always charitable 5k, 10k, 15k or even half-marathons to participate in. Just Google charitable runs and participate in the races you and your partner fancy.

In addition to cardio, you and your sweetie can also do strength training together. Here’s a quick 25-minute sweetheart workout, designed for busy couples. This program will help tone and shape your abs, arms, core, hips, butt and thighs. It will burn calories while encouraging a playful intimacy and will bring new meaning to quality time together.

The following exercises can be modified to any fitness level. For example, if you’re strong enough to do standard push-ups, but your partner is not, your partner should do modified push-ups on their knees.

I have chosen exercises that work multiple muscle groups to give a full-body workout that will improve each person's strength, endurance, balance and flexibility.

The goal is to do the following six exercises as a circuit, in this order. Circuit training is a workout during which you cycle through several exercises (with minimum or no rest between). First, get the body ready to work out with a three- to five-minute warm-up. Depending on your fitness level, you can warm up by either marching in place, doing jumping jacks or skipping rope. After the warm-up, jump into the circuit and repeat each cycle three to five times.

  • Push-ups. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Walking lunges with dumbbell shoulder press. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your side. Take a big step forward with right foot and drop into a lunge while simultaneously pressing the dumbbells overhead and up toward the ceiling. Return to standing position, arms down. Perform 15 to 20 reps on each leg.
  • Squat thrust. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Either hop or step your legs back behind you into a plank position. Hop or step your legs back to the squat position. Then stand up. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Plank. Lie face down on the floor with arms bent under your shoulders. Lift your body up, parallel to the floor, balance on your elbows and the balls of your feet. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Mountain climbers. Start with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down to the floor, extending your right leg back behind you. Alternate legs in a fluid motion or step back to modify. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Wall sit with biceps curls. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your side, with your back touching the wall. Slowly slide down the wall into a sitting position until your legs are in a 90 degree angle. Now curl dumbbells for 12 to 15 repetitions, and slide back up the wall to the starting position.

After this sweaty, heart-pumping routine, cool down with five minutes of assisted stretching. End the session sitting face to face with your partner in a cross-legged position with your hands on one another’s knees. Now, give each other one last unflinching gaze and feel the love.

Exercise rituals like this will not only keep you fit, strong and heathy, but keep your long-term relationship exciting, playful and romantic.

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