7 Tips for your Best Fitness Dates

One of my friends recently said to me, “I forgot how exhausting it is to date someone” – and although it’s a good exhausting, it can be true. Sometimes (read: usually) it’s hard enough to keep up with your own schedule, let alone trying to add someone else to it who you want to see ALL THE TIME because he/she is your *shiny new favorite thing*.

Cue fitness dates: the solution to getting in your workout while getting in some personal time with your beau or your lady-friend. The result: two birds, one stone and a (hopefully) happy couple. Certainly, no two people are the same or share the same fitness regime – so here are some ways to keep everyone fit, heard and happy along the way.

1. Realize that it doesn’t have to be a one-time workout – instead, consider working towards a goal together over time.

I’m no love expert, but I’m fairly certain that (a) encouraging one another to strive for new goals and (b) supporting each other to be overall healthier, better individuals would both be considered signs of a healthy relationship. Try to think of ways to set a fitness-oriented goal together. For example, instead of just going out for a run once, sign up for a race together and make training “run dates” over the course of the next few weeks. You’ll have a new running buddy, a support system, something cute to chase after and two times the satisfaction when you cross the finish line together.


2. Be open: try new things.

I’m a good sport. Ok, I take that back; I try to be a good sport. I’m competitive. I hate losing. However, I’m open to try new fitness classes, sports, etc. (yes, even if I’m not the best at them or look silly doing them) if it is enjoyable for someone else. There’s value in learning something new and having an open mind. So try a new fitness class or a new sport your date is really into – but take turns! – have the next fitness date play to your strengths (basketball, please!).

So long as you both promise to not laugh at each other but with each other, you can consider going out on a limb to try a new fitness class neither of you have done before (paddle boarding, anyone?).

3. Skip class! Teach each other something new instead.

Maybe he/she is more into strength training and you can teach him/her something new on the track or with a kettle bell. Get a strength training lesson from your new favorite personal trainer and give him/her a speed training lesson in return. Teaching and learning from each other can be a rewarding experience, and maybe you’ll even develop a new common interest together.

Photo via Nike Chicago

4. Try out the same gym.

A couple of my friends and I have a text message thread that talks specifically about our experiences at a certain gym. Though it might seem slightly embarrassing, I absolutely love that group text. Every few days someone texts the group about an ordeal at the gym or something inspirational (or downright hilarious) that their trainer might have said. The fact that we all have spent time at the same gym doubles as a great conversation topic and as motivation to get my butt back there to have anecdotes of my own to share.

There are plenty of unique gyms in the city. Consider trying out a new one with your significant other, even if you are not able to make it in at the same time or go to the same class. Checking out a new gym together can spark some pretty fun conversations about your different experiences.

5. Play!

It’s summertime Chi (…even when it’s in the 60s and doesn’t necessarily feel like it) – get out and play! A dose of healthy competition never hurt anybody and there are plenty of options when it comes to outdoor activities in the city. Play a game of 1-on-1 basketball (or grab some friends for a 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 match) or grab some tennis rackets and head to a nearby court. Just make sure the competition stays friendly – nobody wants to be that couple that causes a scene on the North Avenue beach volleyball courts.

Playing is extremely healthy, both physically and mentally, but it seems to be a lost art in adulthood. By getting out for a play date, you are doing more than just having fun – you are increasing your happiness and potentially your intelligence along the way… 4 birds, 1 stone?

6. Dress up.

Let’s be real: it’s nice to have an excuse to buy new fitness clothes. Have one person pick something out for the other to wear on the next run / work out or hit up a fitness gear store together. Sometimes when I’m lacking motivation to keep up with my marathon training, a new running top does just the trick to get me out the door and onto the pavement the next morning.

7. Grab or cook a healthy dinner together.

A fitness date doesn’t have to be limited to the confines of a gym or a court. Mix it up by cooking a healthy meal together at home. Bonus: you can save the leftovers for lunch and improve on his/her or your own (potentially lacking) cooking skills.


Do you have other ideas for great fitness dates? Let us know in the comments!




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About Cass Gunderson

Cass hails from the southwest suburbs as a proud White Sox fan and a graduate of University of Illinois. By day, Cass is a full-time student at the University of Chicago's Booth Graduate Business School. Before deciding to throw away all her money to go back to school, Cass worked for a private equity firm that buys technology companies. Raised as the youngest in a family of older brothers, Cass grew up a tomboy and remains active in sports. To her mother’s satisfaction, Cass learned how to embrace her feminine side in college and has developed an interest for fitness activities that require spandex as opposed to knee-length basketball shorts. In her spare time, she runs a lot because it is cheaper than paying for real therapy. Cass has completed four marathons and one ultramarathon (she claims she'll never do this to herself again, but that's TBD). She can still be found on the basketball courts in Lincoln Park wearing knee-length basketball shorts.

6 thoughts on “7 Tips for your Best Fitness Dates

  1. I basically read this as all heart eye emojis. Also I have a decent idea who your exhausted friend is.

  2. Pingback: 404 Not Found

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