Get-Fit Activities For Two

Try these activity dates to keep both your body and your relationship in tip-top shape this summer.

By Jim Sulski

hen Courtney Barroll and Jim Petersen first started seeing each other, one of their early dates was a run through New York City together. “We also did the standard dates of movies and dinners, but the physical activities were a way to bond on a different level,” Barroll says. Part of that
Participating in a physical activity side-by-side can quickly create a bond.
connection was the “glow” that came with doing something physical in tandem. “Exercise releases feel-good endorphins,” notes Barroll, who’s a personal trainer. “They go hand in hand with enhancing a relationship.”

How workouts help couples bond
Participating in a physical activity side-by-side can quickly create a bond between a couple, even if they are beginners, athletically speaking, says Paul Frediani, senior boxing instructor at Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City and the author of six books on sports and athletics. “It gives both people in a relationship common ground to share together,” he says. “And when you’re not doing the activity, you can have conversations about it.” What’s more, doing something physical during the first few dates with a new potential love interest also takes the pressure off you both, Barroll says. “You’re more relaxed when you’re able to move around,” she explains. “You have more fun and you definitely have more laughs.” Oh, yes, and this kind of date is good for your health, too.

What follows below are four suggestions for get-fit activities for two that can take place outdoors, at a gym, or on your next vacation.

Activity #1: Rowing
Find a lake where you can rent a rowboat, kayak or canoe together. Not only will you get a good workout, but you’ll also be able to get into a teamwork groove by propelling yourselves through the water together. Plus, there are few things more tranquil and enjoyable on a warm day that zooming around a body of water with your beloved.

Activity #2: Boxing
A more exotic suggestion from Frediani is taking boxing classes together. “You actually don’t wind up punching each other, but you both go through the various workouts that involve boxing drills and skills, such as jumping rope or working with a speed
It’s a wonderful low-impact exercise for older couples.
bag or heavy bag,” he says. “It’s a great workout.” And women don’t have to be Hilary Swank to participate, adds Frediani: “I had one guy who wanted to show his girlfriend that he knew how to box and she ended up doing better at the workouts than he did!”

Activity #3: Cycling
Cycling is a terrific get-fit date activity for couples, Frediani says, because of the various intensities and speeds on offer. “It’s a wonderful low-impact exercise for older couples,” he says. For couples who are in tip-top condition, try taking things up a notch with day-long rides (a century, for instance, is the term for biking 100 miles in one haul). But if you want to keep things low-key, why not see if a local park rents tandem bicycles — those good old “bicycles built for two” you may have heard about? That’s a nice way for any couple to stay joined at the (almost) hip while enjoying a leisurely ride together.

Get-fit Activity #4: Surfing
For those folks fortunate enough to be living close to a coast, Frediani suggested surfing as a dating activity (you’ve seen Cameron Diaz and other celebs doing this, right?). “In addition to a workout, it gets you down to the beach and it’s also a lot of fun,” he says. If surfing is too advanced, start with boogie-boarding, which is a much easier activity to master. Plus, you two will look hot in your swimsuits or wetsuits on the beach afterward.

Jim Sulski is a freelance writer based in Chicago.
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