Setting aside time to be together on a regular basis is a healthy habit for any couple, but as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, date night plans often can lead to eating and drinking in cozy places with lots of comfort food. Before you make plans for your next night out, consider these fun date night ideas to enjoy each other’s company without loading up on excess calories.
1. DANCE LESSONS
Whether your tastes lean toward hip hop or Western swing, waltz or cha cha, learning to dance together is both fun and romantic. Many dance studios and local YMCAs offer beginner’s nights, so you don’t have to feel intimidated because you lack experience. Best of all, you can burn up to 300 calories per hour* in the process.
Gliding around while holding hands and keeping each other warm is sure to bring you closer together, literally and figuratively. Many cities now have outdoor ice rinks open to the public when the temperatures fall, but if you live where it’s too warm, roller skating can be just as much fun. Either way, you’re melting off more than 380 calories per hour.
Today’s bowling alleys are no longer the dingy, smoky caves that they once were. They’re not only clean and bright, many offer special events like bowling in the dark (the balls and pins glow) and couples’ nights. You team up and cheer each other on for a few hours, and you burn more than 420 calories along the way.
4. GAME TIME
Friendly competition can turn up the excitement and all kinds of games keep your metabolism active. You have lots of choices so you can find one that gives both of you a fighting chance to win. Take turns picking–maybe this week it’s shooting pool and next time you try the arcade. The more active the game, the bigger the benefit, but no matter what you play, remember that having fun together is better than winning alone.
5. YOGA FOR TWO
Stretching, twisting, and breathing together is sure to get you in sync in just about every way. Check your local studios for partner yoga sessions, where you’ll work on tandem poses that help both of you to be more limber and feel more connected to each other. Yoga sessions burn at least 280 calories per hour.
6. THE ARTS
For an evening of quiet, thoughtful conversation, visit a museum or gallery in your area. Many are open in the evening and some host “novice” events that help you understand the work even if you have little or no knowledge. No matter how much you know, strolling around, sharing your likes and dislikes, is a relaxing diversion and an opportunity to burn 175 calories per hour as you walk.
7. MAKE SOME MUSIC
Go to karaoke night and pick a favorite tune to perform as a pair. Don’t worry if you don’t have superstar voices, just enjoy the harmony that comes with singing together. You can burn up to 140 calories in hour, if you belt it out with conviction. Even more if you break out your dance moves.
8. COUPLES’ MASSAGE
You both might like a visit to a spa with a professional massage, but a class on how to massage each other might be even better. Not only do you get to enjoy the stress relief of a good rubdown, you can take the lessons home and use them again and again. A healthy massage releases tension, soothes aching muscles, and stimulates your body’s happiness hormones, endorphins.
9. COOKING CLASS
Restaurants, kitchen supply stores, and cooking schools offer you a chance to sharpen your skills and learn how to make tasty dishes together. Look for menus with healthful ingredients and discover together how satisfying it can be to eat well as you work toward your weight loss goals.
Giving back to your community is a deeply rewarding way to be together. Offer your time to serve meals to the homeless, make up care packages for military personnel, or read to children or the elderly. Whatever you do, showing compassion to people in need is certain to stoke your love for each other, too.
* All calorie-burning figures are based on a 155-pound person.