What do Houston marriage counseling and exercising have in common? At first you might think there’s not much similarity, but you might be surprised to learn that both can provide relationship help.

You’ve probably heard about some of the individual benefits of regular exercise—it reduces stress, makes you happier, increases your energy level, and gives you a confidence boost. One thing you may not thought of, however, is how exercising with your partner can strengthen your relationship.

Now, I’m not suggesting that exercise is going to provide all the relationship help you need if you and your partner have been experiencing conflicts. Having a healthy dialogue with your partner and potentially visiting Houston marriage counseling is the best way to work through relationship problems, but exercising together can provide additional help. Here are some of the reasons why.

Houston Marriage Counseling: How Does Exercise Help Couples?

Boosts self-confidence. Just last week I wrote about how important self-esteem is to your relationship. By setting and achieving fitness goals with your partner, you’ll begin believing in yourself and your abilities. Remember not to get competitive with your partner; this can actually lower your self-esteem and create resentment. Find an activity you can both do, like hiking or a spin class, and support each other.

Releases endorphins. Moderate to vigorous exercise causes your body to release endorphins, hormones responsible for pleasure and feelings of happiness. Work out with your partner and you can both reap the chemical benefit of exercise.

Improves sex life. I’ve always said that sex isn’t the most important part of a relationship, but it is still important. Studies have found that exercise boosts energy levels and sexual desire for both men and women. Exercise can be especially beneficial for keeping the sex lives of older couples alive and well.

Reduces stress. Stress—whether it’s from the relationship or not—can be a huge source of relationship problems, but exercise can combat that by making both you and your partner feel more relaxed and in control of your lives.

Gives you space to talk. Sometimes exercising with your partner may just provide you the time and space to talk about anything that’s been bothering you. Going on a walk or jog together removes you from other distractions and the usual setting of your home, which can make it easier to start working through conflicts.

With regular exercise and the help of Houston marriage counseling, your relationship will be back on the right track in no time!