Chocolates, wine, decadent dinners, snuggling on the couch while watching movies: These go-to ideas for romantic dates are classics for a reason, but they’re not exactly the healthiest options. Here are five fresh date ideas for planning sweet and entertaining dates that also happen to be healthy.
1. Play Pickleball
Pickleball is a fun and fast-paced sport that’s easy to learn and difficult to take too seriously, so it’s a perfect option for incorporating some exercise into a light-hearted date. You’ll barely notice that you’re getting your heart rate up while you’re chasing the colorful balls and whacking them across the net towards your sweetheart. Pickleball can be played with either two or four people, so consider inviting a couple of friends for a double date. Many public parks and community centers have courts, though you may want to bring your own pickleball paddles to ensure a comfortable grip.
2. Take a Cooking Class
Improving your confidence in the kitchen is a great way to encourage yourself to eat more healthy homemade food, and cooking classes cover everything from knife skills to fancy appetizers to vegetarian meals. A class offers you and your love interest the chance to see how well you work as a team while also removing some of the pressure you might feel on an intense one-on-one date. The two of you can learn something new, banter with your fellow classmates, and sneak a moment to hand-feed each other delicious tidbits you made together. Cooking classes are frequently offered by specialty cookware shops; you may be able to find them through your town’s parks and recreation department as well.
3. Go Canoeing
Canoeing is a relaxing way to enjoy nature while also getting in a bit of exercise. According to research, simply being near water can help relieve stress and boost your mood. Paddling together is another way to develop your and your lovebird’s teamwork along with your arm muscles, and the middle of a lake is a great spot to sneak a few kisses. Many local and state parks offer inexpensive rental canoes, or you can look online for local businesses that may also provide lessons for beginners.
4. Visit a Farmers Market
Strolling through a farmers market together allows you to spend one date making preparations for the next one. Unlike ordering food from a restaurant, picking out fresh fruits and vegetables for making your own dinner lets you control portion sizes and customize dishes to be healthy as well as colorful and tasty. Watching kids and dogs explore or learning about plants from a local farmer can help both of you relax. Finally, don’t forget that farmers markets often sell fresh flowers, which means you have an easy opportunity to surprise and delight your date with a moment right out of a romantic comedy.
5. Walk a Nature Trail
You don’t have to be a rugged hiker or a mountain climber to enjoy nature and reap the benefits of outdoor exercise. Even in hilly areas, plenty of walking trails offer little or no elevation; some are even paved. Check with local parks and nature centers to see if certain trails are known for an abundance of wildflowers or songbirds (instant romance!) or have secluded picnic spots. A trail that leads to a small waterfall makes for an especially dreamy atmosphere. However, don’t let the natural beauty completely distract you and your darling from common sense. Wear appropriate shoes, bring bug spray, sunscreen, and drinking water, and ask park employees about any special safety considerations.
Dating doesn’t have to be hard on your health. A little creative thinking is all you need to plan healthy and happy dates.
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