It’s almost Valentine’s Day and love is definitely in the air. Are you courting your crush or significant other with some active dates? If yes, then you’re doing it right. Research shows couples that participate in high-octane activities report a higher quality relationship. What’s more: two out of every three runners believe running as a couple leads to more sex.
So ditch that dinner and a movie. It’s time to step up your dating game with some endorphin-boosting activities. And who better to clue us in than the fitness pros themselves? Read on to hear our favorite trainers, coaches and health gurus share their most epic fitness dates. From spontaneous weekend bike tours to surfing in exotic locales, these stories might just inspire you to find love in a sweati-er place.
1. Rob Sulaver
CEO/Founder of Bandana Training
Dating Style: Playful
Sometimes you just gotta step it up. Rob’s killer stair workout on the Santa Monica Pier with a trash-talking accomplice he calls “AngelCake” was his most memorable sweat date. After a few grueling rounds, she flipped the script by challenging him to carry her up the stairs as well. “I only made it to the top because I was D-Dog Double Dared,” he reminisces. “Without question, the best and worst fitness date of my life.” If “AngelCake” doesn’t call him back: “My dream date would be to run through the streets of Arabia after my little monkey stole some stuff from the market. With Jasmine. From Aladdin. Come on, you know she’s foxy.”
2. Rebecca Pacheco
Yoga Teacher, Writer, Creator of OmGal.com
Status: In a serious relationship
Dating Style: Relaxed and romantic
Who needs a car when a bike will do? Rebecca and boyfriend, running coach Dan Fitzgerald, say they have their best dates on two wheels. One of her favorites: an ambitious evening of dining al fresco and attending concerts in two different locales with just their bicycles as transport. “By the time we got home, we’d logged a lot of miles and dancing,” she says. “Thank god, I wore comfortable shoes!”
3. Adam Rosante
Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Dating Style: Well-thought-out, but presented with ease and simplicity
An authentic adventure through the jungle of Costa Rica is the way to Adam’s heart. While on vacation with his girlfriend (now wife), they packed up a truck and went four-wheeling through the brush up to the edge of the rainforest. “We hiked up to the top where we had a long, leisurely lunch prepared by this incredibly sweet local family,” says Adam. The pair surfed until sunset, when they called it quits to roast fresh-caught fish on the beach for dinner.
4. Rog Lawson
Sultan of Sexification at RogLawFitness
Status: Boo’d up
Dating Style: Witty banter, flirty innuendo and rapid-fire hilarity
Believe it or not, bingeing on ice cream followed by a long walk on the beach under the Australian sunshine was how this trainer’s favorite date began. The two hit the gym together the next day, getting their sweat on with “some good ‘ol fashion heavy lifting, circuits and boxing bag work.” Since the couple had the place to themselves, they blasted their own custom soundtrack, which included DMX and Kanye West. The post-workout meal of choice? “Cinnabons,” Rog confesses, “which, without fail bring any experience to near legendary levels.”
5. Kathryn Budig
Yogi, Founder of Aim True Yoga
Dating Style: Playful and honest
The sky’s the limit for yogi Kathryn Budig and her fiancé, who happens to be a professional skydiver. “Our initial courtship consisted of going on skydives as dates,” she says. “We even did a high-pull jump once where we brought two beers and had a picnic in the sky!” These high-flying lovebirds hope to explore Santorini, Greece one day. “We’d hit the ocean, explore the town, soak up some sun, practice outdoor yoga and share amazing food and wine,” she says.
6. Jonathan Angelilli
Jedi Fitness Ninja of TrainDeep
Dating Style: Super adventurous
“We had no plan, and the only occasion was that it was a beautiful spring day on the weekend,” says Jonathan of his most memorable date with then-girlfriend, a former dancer (now his wife). The pair spontaneously hopped on bikes and ventured around New York City while chatting it up. Some romance and fresh fruit under the shade in Washington Heights was just the right kind of recovery after their active day, he says. Their dream picnic location? The French Alps. “Just us and miles and miles of beautiful mountain peaks, soaring birds and open sky…”
7. Andia Winslow
Professional Athlete and Sports Performance Coach
Status: Single, but dating
Dating Style: No-stress, but plenty of respect!
“Disheartened for missing the New York City “5 Borough Bike Tour,” and still talking about my misfortune months later, my date got creative and planned his own version,” Andia says. From the Bronx down to Brooklyn and across parts of Queens, the pair shared an epic bike ride followed by a ferry ride to Staten Island and an equally epic dinner date. Andia’s recipe for success? Scenery and adventure. “Surfing in Australia, kayaking in Maine, and hiking Table Mountain in South Africa” are all on the golf pro’s bucket list.
8. Brett Hoebel
Celebrity trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser season 11 and creator of the 20 Minute Body™
Status: I don’t kiss and tell…
Dating Style: Full of surprises
From Brazil to Greece to Japan, this jetsetting trainer has enjoyed his fair share of exotic locales. But sailing around the Greek Isles — and swimming to shore for even more exercise — would be his pick for a romantic active getaway, he says. To keep their hearts racing, they’d head south and stop over in Turkey for a hike. And for a hometown date, Brett’s all for picking a handful of local, iconic places and venturing out on a bike tour. “As an ex-New Yorker, I would pick the new World Trade Center, Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge,” he says.
9. Anja Garcia
Equinox and DailyBurn Trainer
Dating Style: Fun and romantic
Anja’s date swept her off her feet — literally! Her beau, a rower and fitness instructor, took her stand up paddleboarding in the Los Angeles Marina for their first date. “Of course, while telling a full-gestured story on the way back to the dock, I fell in the water!” she confesses, saying that her date gave her his pullover to stay warm. We’re guessing he didn’t mind her slip too much since 13 months later he was ready to pop the question. And how does a sporty duo celebrate on the honeymoon? Ziplining through the rainforest of St. Lucia, NBD.
10. Shaun Robert Jenkins
Fitness instructor at CityRow, Tone House
Status: In a relationship
Dating style: Laid back, romantic and traditional
What Shaun finds sexy? Women who aren’t afraid to let loose and go hard during a workout. His favorite active date involved taking a class at Tone House with the person he’s currently dating. “My date was cursing, grunting and sweating right alongside me,” he says. “It was such a turn on!” Shaun’s dream date would include a monster workout balanced with some yoga. “Any woman that has a good yoga practice earns a massive amount of sex appeal points with me.”
11. Lacey Stone
Celebrity trainer of Lacey Stone Fitness
Dating Style: Romantic
“Because I work out for my career, I’m not a huge fan of doing it on my off time,” admits Lacey. Her ideal itinerary instead? Relaxing “with a very athletic clever goddess” on an exotic beach in the south of France. “Every morning we would wake up and go for a swim in the ocean, lay in the sun, go for long walks on the beach, and at night… We dance. I did warn you — I’m a romantic.”
12. Michelle Lovitt
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Status: In a relationship
Dating Style: Romantic and adventurous
Why hydrate with water when wine will do? On their second date, Michelle’s sweetheart surprised her by packing booze instead of H20 for their hike around the mountains of California. The duo found a hidden bench just in time to rest their legs and enjoy the sunset view. But the challenges weren’t over just because daylight was fading. “Upon hiking down, the park had closed so we had to jump over a 20-foot fence to get to our car,” admits Michelle. Her dream adventure? “Flying to Peru to hike Machu Pichu.”
13. Chelsea Dornan
Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor at Uplift Studios
Status: In a domestic partnership
Dating Style: Laid back and romantic
Horsing around with real horses was on the agenda for Chelsea’s most memorable active vacation. She and her partner had an activity-packed day while traveling in Ricón, Puerto Rico. Part one of the excursion was a surfing lesson where Chelsea got up on two waves. After lounging on the beach for the afternoon, the pair enjoyed a private horseback ride along the beach and cliffs just before sunset. The perfect ending to the incredible date? Hotel room service, she says.
14. Justin Rubin
Group fitness coordinator at Equinox, DailyBurn trainer
Dating Style: Laid back but active
Where does a spinning instructor take his future wife for their first date? To the front row of his class, of course! “She kicked butt,” says Justin. After the session and a quick abdominal workout, he met his sweetheart for a cocktail party in the Equinox lobby. “She’s cascading down the stairs and I’m holding the margaritas waiting for her,” he reminisces, saying they later continued their lively conversation at a wine bar. Countless triathlons, marathons and mud runs later, the fit duo have been married for almost two years.
Originally posted August 21, 2014.