Forget making a restaurant reservation this Valentine’s Day! Fitness dates are the new rage if you want to make a lasting impression. Some of you may dread the idea of breaking a sweat on a date, but research shows that working out with a partner not only helps to boost your mood, it strengthens your bond. If you’re looking for someone who truly shares your values and interests, experiencing a fun activity together is a great way to assess whether you have a real connection. For long-term couples, it can simply help to reinforce your bond & reignite your love for those common interests. Read on for 6 active date ideas that will deepen your connection, whilst getting those endorphins flowing and blood pumping.
Sometimes sitting across a table from someone can be a little daunting, almost like you’re being interviewed! Knock down some boundaries & let nature inspire your conversation by taking your date outdoors. Studies have shown that being in nature greatly alleviates stress and stimulates your senses. Dutch researchers found that nature helps lower the incidence of 15 diseases such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma & migraines.
2. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Can you think of anything more romantic and calming than a sunset paddleboard session? You’ll be so wrapped up in the natural beauty of your environment that you’ll barely notice the awesome core and leg workout you’re getting. SUP is a great low-impact, full body workout requiring core stability & shoulder & arm strength. The importance of balance as a component in your total fitness should not be underestimated. Whatever your sport, balance is at the core of efficient & functional movement. As such, it can improve your overall performance & minimize your risk of injury.
The beauty of losing your balance on a paddle board is that your landing is cushioned by the water. So why not have some fun! Challenge your stability & your date by making a bet to see who falls in first. Loser buys dessert!
Maybe you prefer something a little more restorative or perhaps you’re not much of a talker? Convince your date to join you for a yoga class. Regardless of style, Bikram, Vinyasa, Acro or Nidra, I’m yet to meet someone who regrets going to a yoga class! Reconnecting your body with your breath is incredibly therapeutic. Not only will you feel more in tune with your body, but energetically you’ll feel more connected with those around you. The class will also give you something to talk about whilst you grab a juice after!
Many respected athletes in various sporting domains practice yoga these days. Novak Djokovic, Ryan Giggs & Rob Gronkowski have all spent significant hours on the mat. Aside from the more obvious benefits of flexibility and improved range of motion, the simple focus of concentrating on your breath and being able to tune out the distractions of the monkey mind can make a huge difference to an athlete’s performance.
If biking is your sport, why not opt for a fun alternative that will bring you and your date closer together. Rent a tandem bike and go on a scenic cycle ride along the beach boulevard or around the park. Cycling works the large muscle groups of your legs so you’ll be burning through some calories and working up an appetite even if you ride at a moderate pace. Pack a picnic and enjoy some time to talk whilst you refuel.
My fiancé and I have recently taken up dancing lessons in preparation for our wedding day. For a very active & musical couple, we are surprisingly horrible at dancing! This has resulted in much hilarity as we prance around doing a good impersonation of a dad at a disco instead of the cha-cha. Aside from trying to save ourselves from total embarrassment on our big day, there is no real performance objective which is why I love it so much. It’s completely stress-free & really allows us to laugh at ourselves. Don’t take that to mean it’s a walk in the park though! All that jumping around and focus & concentration is exhausting! You’ll certainly work up an appetite for one or two donuts.
6. Rock Climbing
There are some huge fitness perks to climbing. Your core and upper body strength will be challenged as well as your coordination, agility & cardiovascular endurance. A one-hour climbing session can burn over 700 calories alone! Aside from working your body, climbing has been said to boost your brain function because it requires a “problem-solving” approach as the way to the top is often not as direct as you might assume. Because it requires so much concentration, climbers often enter a state of flow, which is a mindset that creates euphoria and can even block pain, according to Indiana University.
How many dates have you been on where you’ve learned a valuable life-skill? Whether you reach the top of the wall or not, you’ll likely both leave feeling hugely empowered as you overcome your fears and alter your perspective on life’s other challenges.