“New Year, New You” is an ongoing blog series focused on on getting your mind, body and spirit ready for dating in 2013. The series will feature posts by Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and scientific advisor for Chemistry.com, Bela Gandhi, Dating Coach and President of Smart Dating Academy, and Amanda Ebner, M.A.; M.Ed.; and personal trainer for FitOrbit.com, an online personal training resource.

By FitOrbit.com Trainer Amanda Ebner

First dates are stressful enough – why spend your next one locked in a dark movie theater, corralled at a restaurant table for two, or stuck at an lifeless party? Getting outside and doing something active with your date is a better way to actually get to know each other, often in a more meaningful way. Ladies, you can leave the stilettos at home – these outdoor date ideas are meant to get you moving.

Whether or not you’re an outdoorsy type, you can still do something to get your heart pumping and enjoy the natural environment.  Think about heading to your local miniature golf course (to burn 214 calories per hour) or go-Kart track (105 calories/hour) to act like kids again, or even check out an adult trampoline or trapeze park for an added dose of adrenaline.  Even just taking a walk around your local shopping promenade or beach boardwalk is a great way to have an active conversation with your new partner.

Looking for a bit more action?  Try a scenic hike in your area, and pack a picnic to make reaching the summit a real – and romantic! – treat.  You can also head to your local beach or boardwalk to try a tandem bike, pedalboat, kayak or surrey rental, then pedal or paddle your way into the sunset.

If you and your date are both very athletic, some healthy competition can really spice up a first date – and give you something to talk about for many dates to come.  Registering together for a local 5K and meeting for the first time at the start line can be invigorating, while jumping into a pickup softball or basketball game in your neighborhood can challenge your sporty chops – and show off your spontaneous side.

This Valentine’s Day, forget the played-out dinner dates and get moving for a memorable – and healthy – celebration.

  • Anonymous

    I find it more difficult to find outdoorsy things to do now that I am among seniors. Scenic walks are a possible safe option, but it seems the men who range from 62 to 72 are either still caught up in rigorous outdoor things, or are content to only sit on a bench and watch the world go by. For that reason, meeting for coffee or wine is often the best compromise.