Instagram’s fitness community is full of viral photos of fit couples—shredded guys and girls who love each other and always have time to work out together.  Perhaps you’ve dreamed of undergoing an impressive transformation with your girlfriend or spouse.  You can’t wait for the day when you can post a pic with the #fitnesscouples hashtag.  You’re ready to teach her the perfect squat form but she’d rather go for a bike ride.  What do you do?  Force her to tag along and stress your relationship?  Or just let it go?

Same Time, Different Channel

Going to the gym together doesn’t mean doing all the same exercises.  You can travel there together and split up.  She can hit the treadmill or the Stairmaster while you power through a Tabata circuit.  You can motivate each other by carving out the same workout time.  You’re both supporting each other’s desire to be fit but respecting the way each one of you does it.

Measure Your Goals Together

You may not like the same workouts but you both have goals.  Create a joint chart of your progress or compete against each other in the same app.  Take the time to celebrate each other when you hit a new milestone and encourage each other when you miss a target.  You don’t need to sweat beside each other every day to keep each other motivated.

Partner Up in the Kitchen

Even if you don’t work out together, odds are you’ll eat together.  As any fitness enthusiast knows, fit bodies are made in the kitchen.  Planning out your meals is a way for you to work together on your health goals.  You can sort out menu choices, cook together and even shop for groceries together.  Partnering on your food choices is a great way to be present in each other’s fitness plan without being too involved.

Complement Each Other

You don’t need weight loss stats and measurements to recognize a change.  You might catch a glimpse of her and notice that she’s undergone a significant improvement.  Take the time to acknowledge it and validate her work.  She’ll appreciate it and she’ll return the favor when the time’s appropriate.  Positive reinforcement is a huge part of any fitness plan.  You may not be her trainer but you can still help her work towards her dream body.

Try Something New Together

Both of you love working out a certain way, and you’re unwilling to switch to the other’s method.  However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying something that neither of you has done before.  Schedule some time on a weekend to take a boot camp or group class together.  It’ll be a way for both of you to step outside of your routines, challenge your bodies and further solidify your bond. Like anything else in a relationship, you and your significant other will have different preferences when it comes to fitness.  But don’t let that difference keep you from playing active roles in each other’s health journeys.