“Relationships and fitness go hand in hand,” says Amy Baglan, CEO and Founder of MeetMindful.com. “They are both hard work but well worth it. A romantic relationship that is worth something is always going to be hard work, just like getting in shape and becoming healthier require time and effort. If we approach our relationships the same way we approach our fitness, the relationships could be improved.”
Here are some of our favorite “date workouts” you should totally do.
1. Take a candlelit flow yoga class
Fitness classes are excellent for dates — they’re often offered at various times throughout the day so you can tailor an outing according to your schedules, and they’re fun as hell, too. While dance classes are a popular choice (salsa or hip hop dancing, anyone?), don’t limit yourself to something that is traditionally thought of as a couples activity — instead, try something new, like candlelit flow yoga, which incorporates some serious mood lighting as you get your yoga on.
2. Sign up for paddle board lessons
Have you ever thought about learning how to paddle board, but never wanted to take a class by yourself? Perfect date. It can be fun to explore something new while also getting an amazing workout, and if you become comfortable doing it, it will lead to more outings with just the two of you (many places will rent you equipment if you don’t have some of your own).
3. Attend a Pound date (not what you think)
Do you love music, and have you ever been caught playing air drums? Instead of going out to the club, check out a Pound workout class, where you and your date will beat away with lightly weighted drumsticks and get a well-rounded workout at the same time.
4. Rock wall climbing for couples
Indoor rock walls are exhilarating and challenging, and it can be a blast challenging your date to see who gets to the top first. You also might enjoy some romantic action on the way up, accidental or not.
5. Step up the challenge with actual rock climbing
If you’re more in the mood for the great outdoors, explore some rock-climbing activities nearby. If one of you is more experienced than the other, the teaching and learning aspect can be a great intimacy builder as you work your way up (and down).
6. Go caving
Spelunking, also known as caving, is a pretty intense date, but it’s a fabulous way to get physically involved as a team. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if it’s an adventure you seek, then cave away.
7. Schedule date night at the barre
A quick search for “date night at the barre” brings up scads of results. Barre workouts combine elements of ballet, yoga and Pilates for an amazing all-body workout. Shannon Higgins, founder of Studio Barre, agrees that this is an excellent date idea. “At Studio Barre, we have weekly happy hour classes for our clients and their husbands or partners, where men are free and the class is followed by margaritas, beer and wine. It’s a fun date night that a lot of couples come out for, and not just the typical drinks at the bar since it offers a fitness component, but on a social level.”
8. Go boxing
Sign up for a kickboxing class and burn some mega calories while pounding the hell out of a 100-pound bag. It’s a great stress reliever and you’ll be increasing your strength, flexibility and endurance, which can help you out in bed too.
9. Find a paintball course
Shooting a paintball gun doesn’t sound like much of a workout, but running around and developing a strategy to win definitely does. Find a course where you can rent your equipment and either try to spray your date with paint or work as a team and take down a common enemy.
10. Float away
Plan a float trip with your date and spend a day or two on a river in a two-person kayak or canoe. Even if you choose a waterway that doesn’t require a ton of paddling, you’ll still have to rely on teamwork, communication and cooperation to move your way around rocks and other obstacles.
More: 8 Stages of how it feels to wake up early to work out
Shane Allen, a certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and sports nutritionist at PersonalTrainerFood.com, says that working out as a team has loads of benefits. “Some of the strongest relationships I’ve seen are those from people who work out together,” he says. “Common goals and shared routines are what help make a relationship — as well as your bodies — stronger.”