A growing number of singletons are swapping tapas restaurants for tap-dancing classes, but would you go on a fitness date? Here’s how first dates are raising heart rates more than ever before, plus the best fitness date ideas to try…

By Florence Reeves-White

As we wake our weary bodies to the faster pace of post-lockdown life, our social schedules are starting to stretch at the seams again, so combining exercise with our love lives seems to make sense. And indeed, many report being so time poor that pedalling a Spin bike seems a savvy way to spend a date.

According to Decathlon, 65 per cent of people would be open to participating in a date that involves exercise, with a third of respondents claiming they’d rather go out for a walk than for drinks or to the cinema. Perhaps, the indulgent element of dating is becoming outdated – although dating apps are on the rise, we may be witnessing the demise of ‘going for a drink’ as a new cohort of singletons seek sober fun instead.

Try a fitness dating app

Diving headfirst into this trend is new app DateFit, which marries exercise with dating, and is drawing in a new wave of active singles looking to mingle and make gains, all at once.

Next in line on the ‘best fitness dating apps’ lists is Happn. Where DateFit is a little more overt in its demographic of fitness fanatics, Happn tries to make happen the missed opportunities that may pass you by in your everyday life, whether that be spotting someone across the room at a gym class, or even crossing paths on a run!

fitness date ideas surfing

Why you should go on a fitness date

Getting sweaty in a group setting, especially in front of a potential suitor, might be many budding fitness fans’ idea of a bad time, no matter how competent they are on the climbing wall or at a cardio class, but aerobic exercise is known to help relax us and to release those mighty mood-enhancing chemicals.

‘With self-esteem sky high, a shared interest ticked off the list of things to like about each other and a sense of teamwork serving to bring you closer together, what’s not to love about working out with your potential partner?’ asks personal trainer Elizabeth Kennedy. ‘If they can’t handle you at your just-done-50-burpees level of sweaty, they don’t deserve you at your dolled-up-drinking-cocktails chic! But I’d still argue we’re at our best, not our worst, when we’re working out.’

So, throwing a few punches in a boxing class or practising your salsa steps could be the perfect way to ease into a more intimate, enjoyable date – all without the post-date hangover. Writer Florence Reeves-White hit the fitness scene to discover whether forgoing dimly lit, bustling bars for mellow, mirrored exercise studios really does make a good date…

Best fitness date ideas to try

Kobox Marylebone

‘This fight-club-meets-night-club is a fantastic workout, but perhaps a little too intense for a date. If dark studios, loud music and oodles of sweat are your thing, then look no further. Few classes can compete with this killer cardio session, but it isn’t for the faint (or lonely) hearted!’

F45 Soho

‘My date and I trialled the new Gunnar Peterson workout in Soho – now, this is a man who knows how to put you through your paces. A date with LA trainer Gunnar as your host will leave no time (or breath) for small talk. A weighted workout with impressive technology to keep everyone clued up about their reps and pace, this is a fab first fitness date.

‘After getting paired up and moved around the room, the 45 minutes flies past – there’s no worry of tedium in this session. Plus, you’re right in the heart of Soho in case you do fancy nipping into the bars and restaurants after all…’

Dan’s London

‘The sexiest of these options will inject a little sauce into your inaugural fitness session together, and this sweaty salsa class is the perfect place to start a racy romance. Dubbed as “London’s happiest workout”, you’ll leave with a few new steps up your sleeve and a great big smile on both of your faces!’

Fitness date wardrobe ideas

red leggings from up clothing

UP Seamless Leggings (£45)

Seamless, stretchy and super breathable, these lightweight leggings are the ideal workout get-up (not too sweaty!) when looking for love.

bamboo leggings

BAM Bamboo Clothing Flared Leggings (£44)

Nothing makes us more confident than feeling comfortable, and these flattering and flirtatious flared leggings from BAM feel just as good as they look.

blue activewear set

Lorna-Jane Blue Set (£55)

Silky soft and supportive, this blue-hued pair is the perfect get-up for getting active with your admirer.