A recent CIPD report on stress in the workplace revealed that worries around relationships are one of the main stressors amongst employees that can impact our work. There are many factors that may cause stress or potential conflict between partners. Finances are a common cause of stress. Especially due to the recent rises in living and borrowing costs. We might also be juggling a busy work schedule with family commitments, facing insecurities, or struggling with trust and jealousy.

These stressors can transfer into our work, making us feel distracted, tired, less productive and more prone to conflict with our peers.

For those facing challenges in their romantic lives, or looking to enhance and revitalise their romantic relationships with their partner, engaging in regular exercise can have many positive impacts. There is also a wealth of research which confirms that people who are happy in their home relationships are also happier at work.

But the quality of people’s domestic relationships is rarely, if ever, discussed by employers. No matter how heavily focused on the wellbeing of their staff they may be. Perhaps understandably so, as our personal relationships can be quite private to us, making it a difficult conversation to bridge.

However, in light of Valentines Day, this article will explore how employee fitness benefits could have a tremendous impact on employee wellbeing, by strengthening existing romantic relationships, and enabling new friendships to be built outside of work.

Are you an employer? Hussle now offer flexible, discounted access to our fitness venues as an employee benefit. Learn more.

How can exercise help improve our romantic relationships?

It’s in our natural instincts to enjoy exercising with those who we are close to, romantically. Our brains are wired to enjoy spending time with people who have similar interests to us. Finding a shared activity helps us to find comfort and validation in our romantic relationships. Exercise also helps to physiologically activate the mind, meaning the emotions that we feel for our loved ones can become intensified.

But the benefits extend far beyond how strongly we feel about our partners, emotionally.

1. Exercise provides us with increased energy and vitality

Regular physical activity can boost energy levels and overall vitality, contributing to a more active and engaging relationship. When both partners are physically fit, they have a wider range of options to explore when looking to participate in shared activities and adventures. Hike a mountain together. Run a race for charity. Go to an indoor climbing wall. Take a long walk along the seaside. Fitness brings us so many opportunities in life.

2. Physical activity helps alleviate stress

Exercise is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. When individuals are less stressed, they are more likely to communicate effectively with their partners and handle day-to-day relationship challenges or financial stresses more easily.

3. Exercise helps to elevate our mood

Exercise can have a really a positive impact on our mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and other conditions, and generally improving mood. When individuals feel better mentally, they will be happier and find their interactions with their partner more enjoyable, helping to form a stronger emotional bond.

4. Being physically fit can help improve our self-confidence

The impacts of regular exercise can lead to improved self-esteem and body image. When we feel more comfortable with ourselves we have a better sense of our self-worth and perceive ourselves more positively in our romantic relationships.

Flora’s Annual Active Towns Report aims to investigate how well those living in the UK and Ireland are maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. The report found that over one in 20 of us embarked on a new fitness journey after meeting a new partner that they wanted to impress.

5. Physical activity can provide couples with new shared goals and achievements

Working towards fitness goals together can provide couples with a sense of purpose, and of course a great sense of achievement when they are accomplished. Goals needn’t be the same. We don’t all run at the same pace, or lift the same weight. However, this shared commitment to fitness can strengthen the bond between partners, providing a common interest and an opportunity for mutual support.

6. Finding quality time together in our hectic lives

Modern life can be hectic. Especially for those having to juggle family and work commitments. However, working out can be mutually beneficial. Not only is it good for our health and fitness, it can provide a valuable opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones, away from our daily stresses.

7. Want to grow old together? Think about the long-term health benefits!

Engaging in regular exercise is associated with long-term health benefits, reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, and musculoskeletal injures. When both partners prioritise their health, it can contribute to a longer and more fulfilling life together.

Less partying, more fitness! Current trends around evolving social preferences

For those looking to find love, engaging in sociable fitness activities can be a great way to find a romantic partner. It’s becoming an increasingly popular means of searching for a partner, especially amongst the younger generation, according to the Flora report.

The survey revealed that one in three (30%) of 16-24 year olds use fitness activities to search for partners, with the most popular sports including swimming, exercising the gym, outdoor running and cycling.

But meeting through exercise isn’t just limited to forming romantic connections, it’s a great way to find friendship, too. More than a quarter of us enjoy working out with our friends as a means of catching up, while 18% of us have also formed new friendships at the gym.

Increased interest in fitness is reframing the way that we socialise. Nearly a third of us now prefer a group workout session to going out and drinking at the weekend. It’s no surprise that alcohol is far less beneficial to employee performance, with up to 5% of absences from work expected to involve alcohol consumption in some way. By helping employees to engage in fitness activities they’ll have a healthier alternative to choose when planning social activities with their friends, helping them to come to work energised and alert, rather than tired and hungover.

Why not share a little ‘love’ with your employees this valentines day?

Bring romantic partners closer together, and help staff to form valuable social connections outside work, by providing them with flexible, discounted access to Hussle’s network of 1,500+ fitness venues as an employee benefit. They’ll be healthier and more productive at work, while you’ll build a better workplace culture and be recognised as a great place to work.