Combine your workouts with quality time with these fun cheap date ideas.

When I first start dating someone and keeping up appearances really matters, I try to stick to dinners and drinks and other sedentary activities to avoid sweating around the new guy. Now that I’ve been with my current boyfriend for almost two years however, we work out together and don’t mind breaking a sweat because that means we’re getting fit!

If you and your partner want to combine your fitness lives with your romantic lives, here are ideas for frugal dates you’ll both enjoy.

Taking a Hike (Together)

My boyfriend and I aren’t morning people, but sometimes waking up for some early morning exercise and a beautiful sunrise is worth the accompanying grogginess. Whether you hike up a mountain, through a forest, or simply walk along a level beach, going in the morning is a fantastic way to start the day by jumpstarting your metabolism and avoiding afternoon heat (if it’s during the summer).

To make it more of a date instead of just an exercise routine, bring along a backpack with some breakfast items for a picnic along the way. Orange juice, berries, hard-boiled eggs, and croissants or bagels are the perfect mix of a healthy, delicious breakfast to take on your hike.

Rowing in the Same Canoe

In the mood for an upper body workout? One of my favorite activities is kayaking, especially when I go tandem kayaking with my boyfriend. It’s a hoot to playfully bicker over the direction of the kayak and tease each other for tiring out (which only makes us more determined to paddle harder to pretend we’re not as exhausted as we feel).

We live near the beach, but kayaking and canoeing can be done anywhere there’s water (except maybe a swimming pool!). Renting equipment is a much more affordable option for casual kayakers or first-time canoeing dates, as well as river canoeing or kayaking (the company will usually transport the equipment back upriver for you).

However, if you live near a lake or ocean and want to incorporate water sports into your regular dating and exercise schedule, then buying kayaks on Overstock or canoes on eBay or equipment from your local Craigslist might be a worthwhile long-term investment!

To make it more of a “real” date, end your paddling sessions with happy hour drinks and appetizers at a local bar or restaurant.

Running Into Love

Unique 5K races are popping up all the time. There are bubble runs, night lights runs (oftentimes with bands and DJs along the route), The Color Run (where you end up covered in colorful paint by the end), charity runs, taco runs….there is even a Craft Beer 5K (my personal favorite).

Regardless of your interest, there is probably a 5K for you. 5Ks are best completed in groups, and who better to run with than your partner? You can dress up in matching costumes and enjoy the colors and crowds on race day. The best way to save on entries is signing up early and using promo codes, which you’ll find from any one of the major couponing websites in a simple Google search.

Putting on Your Dancing Shoes

If you and your partner are more into swinging your hips in dance shoes over hitting the pavement in running shoes, then signing up for a couple’s dance lesson (or lesson package) is a great way to have fun while learning a new skill together. LivingSocial and Groupon’s “Things to Do” sections often have local deals from dance studios and instructors to help you save on everything from salsa to in-line dancing.

Once you complete your lessons, go out to a dancing club for a romantic date night and show off your new moves on the dance floor!

Enjoying the Chase

Taking your partner paintballing or laser tagging can be an incredibly fun an exhausting experience, even if you’re only at it for an hour. With paintball and laser tag, you can both team up and hunt down other couples, or you can chase each other across varying terrains.

Assuming you and your partner are not active paintball enthusiasts and just want to try something new on occasion, the best way to save money is by renting the equipment and going during the week. Paintball fields are most crowded on weekends, and to compensate for the extra traffic, companies tend to charge more. You can also find coupons online or Yelp-based deals if you search before you go.

To save money on laser tag, it’s best to either go with a group of other couples to qualify for a group discount, go earlier in the day when some laser tag companies charge less to make up for lighter traffic during those hours (with their younger customers still in school), or find deals on laser tag online at daily deals sites like Groupon or a couponing website like RetailMeNot.

If you and your partner are active paintballers or laser taggers, then you might want to consider membership options at your favorite locations to save a few bucks each time you visit.

Trying New Things

Whether you and your partner like dancing, running, hiking, water sports or any other frugal dates for sporty couples, there are always new and exciting ways for you to turn your solo hobbies into quality couple time. Beach kayaking has gotten so much more fun since I started taking my boyfriend with me, and you might discover that you love your hobbies even more once you get your partner to do them with you!

Written by Kelly Kehoe

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