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Couples fitness: Tips for going on an exercise date

Linda Melone, CSCS, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and certified personal trainer based in Orange County, CA. Visit her website at www.LindaMelone.com.

Couples who sweat together…

Dating newsflash: Dinner and a movie can be detrimental to your waistline. That romantic glass of wine (or two) and a box of buttered popcorn adds up to mucho calories. Before you know it, you're up a size and still haven't found Mr. Right. So why not add a little calorie-burning to the mix with an exercise date? Fear not: No spandex required, just a desire to get off the couch and do something other than eat pasta and watch Will Smith save the world from aliens.

Couple on hiking date

Find your fitness mate

If you're interested in finding an active partner, many fitness dating sites can help you find Mr. Fit. Two to try include www.fitness-singles.com and www.athleticmeet.com. Both match you up with guys with similar active interests. You can also join a biking or hiking club to meet others who like the great outdoors. And yes, you may even meet someone at the gym. The only problem with the latter is if you break up, you will likely run into him unless one of you switches gyms (so much for motivation). And if you're already in a relationship, it's even easier: Grab your current squeeze and get sweating.

Fitness tips for couples

1Find ways to overcome your fitness differences

Equal rights on the job is fine, but when it comes to fitness, men simply have certain advantages -- estosterone, bigger muscles and better cardiovascular capacity, to name a few. So if you run together, for example, agree to either go your separate ways for part of the time or otherwise make an arrangements to equalize the playing field -- he starts first or you get shortcuts, etc.

2Don't be a know-it-all exerciser

Unless one of you is a qualified personal trainer -- and the other person agrees to listen -- don't offer "helpful" advice. It's never welcome and only creates irritation, sometimes downright animosity between you. An exception: "There's a bear behind you, so you may want to pick up the pace."

3Take turns deciding on the fitness activity

If you love running and he barely tolerates it, be a good sport and play the tennis/golf/Frisbee/water polo he's been wanting to do. He'll be more likely to agree to join you in your chosen activity the next time.

Fun fitness date ideas

1Couple in row boatTake a hike

OK, so it's a sneaky way to combine a romantic picnic with a walk through the woods. Leave the stilettos at home, though, and invest in real hiking boots if you don't want to sprain an ankle. Bring plenty of water and don't forget the sunscreen.

2Beachy keen

Beach volleyball, jumping in the waves and running on the sand all count as exercise. Follow it up with a shared sunscreen application session and a fresh fruit snack under the shade of a beach umbrella. What could be better?

3Row, row, row your boat

Rowing gently down the stream works arm and back muscles. Pull up to a lakeside picnic area for lunch to recharge and cool off.

More on working out with a partner

Are you in love with your workout buddy?
How to stay committed to exercise
3 Benefits of working out together

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