Since Nathaniel and I have started this health adventure we’ve been making a conscious effort to have healthier more active dates. In the past our saturday night might have consisted of going to a bar and drinking really good beer – and maybe having chicken wings or a burger for dinner.
Nathaniel doesn’t like romantic restaurants and I am a recovering tom-boy so there you go.
I decided to come up with a list of healthy date ideas. They don’t all necessarily burn a lot of calories but they are better than going to the movies or just sitting at home.
You don’t need to drive to a rural area to go hiking. You can easily go “urban hiking” and plan a route through the city you live in. The other week we started off at the Farmer’s Market on the eastern edge of San Francisco and walked all the way across the city to a restaurant we wanted to try near the ocean. We took our sweet time but after four hours of walking there’s nothing you could order at a normal restaurant that would erase all of that exercise.
We’ve only gone bowling a few times but it’s something we both enjoy doing. Stay away from the snack bar though! All those fried and buttered things are a trap!
3. Rock Climbing
I told Nathaniel the other day that once I reach my halfway weight goal I want to try taking up rock climbing. I’ve done it in the past and I have plenty of guy friends that take dates rock climbing. They always have a lot of fun.
4. Going to the gym
The benefit of running together at the gym is that you both can run at your own pace and still be next to each other. I don’t know a single couple where both people are equally matched in the speed and distance they like to run.
5. Cooking Classes
As a couple we often cook together and it’s a lot of fun. I think transforming yourself into a healthy couple has more to do with changing your relationship with food rather than your relationship to each other. In larger cities you can easily find cooking classes and making yourself more comfortable in a kitchen will help you be less likely to head to Taco Bell for a quick bite when you are short on time.
*** Budget friendly version: both people can find a new healthy recipe online, buy the ingredients and make the food together for a Saturday night activity / dinner.
6. Watch a movie at home
You know that drinking game where you take a sip of something or take a shot every time the people in the movie say a particular word? Play that game with sit-ups.
You can decided how many sit-ups to do per word but it will get you doing something other than sitting (sitting in a stationary position can burn as little as 25 calories per hour).
Suggestions: Using the word “family” while watching the Godfather, “Voldermort / He who must not be named” while watching Harry Potter, or “the force” while watching Star Wars. I dare you to do 10 every time someone dies in The Gladiator.
7. Dancing / Concerts
I hate dancing. I will not go dancing. But – for all you crazy club kids intense dancing can burn as many calories per hour as a serious run. Going to a rock concert and jumping around/moshing burns a similar number of calories.
8. Volunteer to Walk Dogs at the Pound
This will both get you exercise and Karma points. Plus – for those of us apartment dwelling dog lovers it will give you your puppy breath fix for the week.
9. DO something at the bar
If you are going to go drinking try and go to a bar where you have the option of shooting pool, throwing darts or doing something other than sitting. Also – know how many calories come with your “usual” try switching to a less caloric drink.
Think about this: A vodka martini with olives has 250 calories while a gin martini with olives only has 175. Taking shots? The standard 1.5 ounce serving of 80-proof alcohol has 96 calories even before you add any mixers.
10.Go to a farmer’s market / fruit picking at an orchard
Both of these activities fulfill the necessity of buying food for the week and will get you more exercise than shopping at Safeway, Lucky’s, Bi-Lo (shout-out to the south) or whatever your local grocery store is.
Also by going to a farmer’s market you are buying fresher produce picked at its peak and reducing the amount of fossil fuel it took that meal to get to your table.
I like to buy things I’ve never eaten before so that I am forced to figure out what to do with it once I’ve gotten it home. Cue – butternut squash and kale entering my diet within the past 6 months. My parents never fed me these growing up so I had to discover them on my own.