Coupling exercise with romance might not sound like a great match – at first glance they just don’t mix. Gymming is all about sweating in solitude, while dating usually involves something more indulgent, like dinner or drinks. However, new research from Decathlon shows that 65% of people would be open to participating in a date that involves sport or exercise, with one in three admitting they’d rather go on a walk than for drinks or to the cinema with their date.
This is hardly a surprise, considering being sober is basically the new drunk. A study by University College London found that the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds who do not drink alcohol has increased from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2015, with lifetime abstainers rising from 9% to 17%. Plus, half of Brits now shun regular drinking, too, so it’s no wonder that young people are trying to find new and healthier ways to connect with each other.
So what exactly are single people doing in order to mingle? It’s not as bad as eyes meeting across treadmills, we’re happy to say – the survey of more than 7,600 adults shows dates involving nature, such as going on a hike or a long walk, are the activities of choice. Many said that they preferred more active dates like this because they felt this type of activity helps them to relax and break the ice.
Joshua Gutteridge, team sports manager at Decathlon commented: “Dating should be fun, and it doesn’t have to involve unhealthy activities like drinking alcohol - if that’s not your thing. Exercise is a great alternative to going for food or drinks and the benefits are actually great for a date. Exercise is proven to release endorphins, which can help to make us feel relaxed and increase self-esteem - which can only be a good thing on a date. Better still, taking part in an activity outdoors can help to remove awkward silences and is a fun way of getting to know someone.”
So if you fancy something a little healthier for your next date, why not swap your sauvignon blanc for a swim or your gin for the gym – or some other great date activities include hiking, tennis, cycling, rowing or canoeing.
If you want to find an activity (and a date) to suit you, there are ways to get involved – the DateFit app is a particular winner. Your matches are tuned to fit your interests and passions, along with what you’re looking for in a partner. So whether you’re looking for a body builder or someone to go kayaking with on the weekend, they’ll set you up with your match made in fitness heaven – just remember your waterproof mascara.
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